No man is an island and no one knows this better than Marc Wallerce, owner of the Winthrop Marketplace.
This year marks the 16th year that Winthrop Marketplace has been in business. Back in 1999 Wallerce left Liberty Market and started his own place in the old water department building on Revere Street.
“There’s a need for it. There’s no other place in town (to grocery shop),” Wallerce said. “We have an increase in sales every year and I owe that to the best staff anyone could ask for.”
The devotion of his staff is noticeable. There’s Robbie Pumethret, Thippi Carido (front end manager), Kevin Miccichi (store manager), Brian McCreina (store manager) and Chris Wallerce (marketing). Karen Laureno is the bakery manager, Sue Hughes (production manager), Tabitha Byrd (head meat cutter), Sherry Masello (head deli clerk), Chris Miccichi (all departments), Matt Calla (diary and frozen), Debbie Michielsen (courtesy booth), Sam Mooney (courtesy booth), and Antionetta Polcaro (meat department).
Wallerce said his wife Sherry is the biggest asset he has. Karen Higginbotham is the human resources and the support person.
“Without her we would be in trouble. She mentors and shapes the new employees,” Wallerce said.
“Kevin has worked here the longest and Brian is second,” Wallerce said.
To Wallerce’s advantage he knew supermarkets and he put a lot into his store. But he also let his customers influence what’s in the store and how it looks. From produce to meat and bakery products, Wallerce makes sure it’s a store for everyone.
“This is not just a place to shop. You feel comfortable. I also always see if I can hire children and grandchildren of customers,” Wallerce said. Over the years he estimates he has employed 700 or more high school students. “I offer flexible hours and I like to contribute to the town.”
Wallerce said customer loyalty is also what keeps his store going.
“Listen to the customers,
do the right thing and you’ll succeed,” Wallerce said.
Each year there has been an increase in sales. He knows that customers have a lot of choices when it comes to grocery shopping but he knows his customers choose his market.
“You can’t do this good without good customers. The customer is so important. They are not a number like at other markets. Here they are family and that’s what sets us apart,” Wallerce said. “And I wouldn’t change the staff for anyone in the world.”