SALEM, N.H. — He may be retired from Market Basket, but 67-year-old Tony Sinkewjkz just couldn't miss the ribbon cutting for the new store at the Tuscan Village.
The employee of 49 years carries fond memories of the company. He started working for the local supermarket chain three days after his 16th birthday as a bagger in the Lawrence store before becoming a cashier, a grocery department worker, and finally a shipper/receiver.
When Sinkewjkz joined the company there were only 11 locations. With the opening of the new Salem store, the company now has 80 Market Baskets, including three in Salem within a few miles of each other.
Sinkewjkz joined Market Basket President Arthur "Artie" T. Demoulas and Tuscan Village developer Joe Faro for the opening of the store Saturday morning. More than 100 people attended the ribbon cutting.
"We want to welcome you, we want to thank you for taking the time out of your beautiful summer Saturday morning to come down here and celebrate the official grand opening and ribbon cutting of your brand new Market Basket," Demoulas said. "I can't tell you how proud our company is to be included in this mixed-use, lifestyle development called Tuscan Village."
Demoulas welcomed shoppers and told them a bit about the chain's history on Route 28 in Salem. Demoulas said his late father Telemachus Demoulas and his late uncle George Demoulas built their sixth store, the first in New Hampshire, there in 1964 before opening the second location a quarter-of-a-mile away 11 years later in 1975.
Faro also spoke, talking about his vision that "people do business with people." He went on to say that he is blessed to have a partnership with the Demoulas team and family.
"That one faithful day, you know, in 2016, when Artie walked in the front door of Tuscan Market and that partnership is something very special, and we'll cherish that for a long, long, time," Faro said, noting the experience was what ignited the flame for the creation of Tuscan Village.
Workers from various departments and members from management teams lined up behind Demoulas, as he described his many thanks for the work that was done at the store. The new location, situated at 69 Central St., employs 300 people, according to Demoulas, and will be the third store in less than a two mile radius.
The new 80,000 square-foot location will include a butcher's block — only available in 14 of the Market Basket stores — offering kabobs, marinated and other types of meats, a soup station, and several isles to browse.
After the ceremony, Sinkewjkz posed for a picture with Demoulas. It wasn't the first time the two met — Sinkewjkz noted that upper management often comes into the stores and talks to employees.
"As I told Tony earlier, it's because of the pride, passion, and consistency of people like him that this company became what it is," Demoulas said.
Reporter Madeline Hughes contributed to this story.