In 1971, armed with ambition, grit, and Linda’s savings of $411, Joe and Linda Stevens embarked on a journey that would eventually reshape the landscape of the grocery industry in the Illinois area. They started The Market Basket, with Joe initially selling produce out of the back of a pickup truck in Edwardsville. Today, their dream has blossomed into a flourishing landscape, garden, and grocery business with five thriving locations in Edwardsville, O’Fallon, Godfrey, Troy, and St. Peters, Missouri.
Over time, Joe and Linda passed the reins of daily operations to their three sons, turning their business into a true family affair. Jason, the eldest, joined The Market Basket full time straight after high school and now expertly oversees the landscape and garden center. Clay, after college, joined in 1996, managing the grocery division and handling financial affairs. Meanwhile, Greg, although heading his own trucking company, is an integral part of the family venture, delivering landscape materials for The Market Basket’s landscape and garden centers.
The ethos that guides this family-run business is deeply rooted in involvement and service. As Jason fondly recalls, business was a topic of conversation at the dinner table, where they learned and grew with the company. “We absorbed everything my parents said. Our involvement just grew as we grew,” he recounts.
Having witnessed firsthand the commitment, hard work, and joy associated with running their business, Jason and Clay gleaned valuable insights from Joe and Linda. They learned that placing customers first and delivering impeccable service was the recipe for success. Clay emphasizes this by saying, “The key is service. Our customers respond with their loyalty, and we really appreciate it.”
As The Market Basket gears up for the next 36 years, it is the collective effort of the Stevens family, their dedication, and the loyalty of their customers that will drive their continued success. They raise their glasses in gratitude to their patrons, looking forward to the prospect of providing an ‘endless bounty’ for many years to come.
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