Holiday gatherings may be smaller this year, but the Marketplace is still going strong, stocking up on supplies and making sure that residents have what they need for all of the Thanksgiving Day fixings.
“We are currently in the process of getting our inventory for Thanksgiving and will be able to offer more variety of products throughout our store,” said Operations Manager, Chris Wallerce. “We will have pies, cookies, cakes, all of the Thanksgiving sides including mashed potatoes, stuffing, butternut squash, and cranberry sauce. And we will have turkeys of all sizes in addition to a selection of bone-in and boneless hams.”
Due to the uncertainties securing products on a timely basis because of the pandemic, the Marketplace will not be able to provide cooked dinners this year.
“As much as we love making the dinners and putting everything together for our customers, we were unable to cook the Thanksgiving dinners this year. With all the uncertainties in today’s world, we didn’t want to commit to something that we couldn’t do. In addition, we did not want to provide added pressure to our amazing employees that have been working so hard each and every day. We can only hope that the community understands our decision and continues to support us.”
Like many businesses in town, the Marketplace staff has pushed ahead and adapted to the new norm. Reflecting back on the early days of the pandemic, Wallerce said that the store was so hectic it was like there was a major snowstorm coming every day. The onslaught of excessive purchases resulted in product shortages and a constantly changing delivery schedule.
“It was frustrating at first but by being honest with our customers and letting them know the logistical and production issues from our wholesaler and vendors, we were able to build on our relationship and try to ensure everyone got what they needed.”
Since then, the store has expanded the vendor network, adding a variety of product lines to keep up with the demand and now they have fully stocked shelves and do not have to limit capacity like they had to in earlier months.
“In order to maintain our customers’ shopping needs, we have taken a lot more phone orders and scheduled deliveries with the local cab company to ensure grocery needs are not interrupted for our customers, especially our most vulnerable. In addition, we have seen more customers shop at our store from our surrounding communities, such as Revere and East Boston. These customers feel safer in a smaller store and we strive to maintain a clean and efficient environment for them.”
Over the last seven months, the Marketplace has established safety protocols to keep their employees and customers safe. Wallerce and his staff are grateful for the ongoing support of the community.
“We are so thankful to our community and our staff. It is our customers and our employees that keep us going. They have made and brought in masks for us, sent us notes and emails of thanks. That alone has given us a big lift emotionally and allowed us to keep going. We have seen the struggles that our customers have faced, either financially or health wise, and we must keep doing our best to provide them with quality products in a friendly and welcoming environment. We have learned that life can change in an instant and that we must appreciate what we do have. Life is so precious and we must enjoy each day. It was a time where being patient, respectful, and friendly was essential to making it through this and we are just so thankful to a play our part in this Winthrop community.”
The Winthrop Marketplace is located at 35 Revere Street and can be reached at: 617-846-6880.