Market Basket 50th Anniversary

The grocery chain that was co-founded in 1961 by Bruce and Alletta Thompson has become the largest independent grocer in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. Investing their life savings along with additional borrowed funds, they opened Bruce’s in Groves, TX. Later that same year, Market Basket was formed when Bruce Thompson joined with four other independent grocers: Ed Hughes, Howard Hatfield, Roy Theriot and Johnnie Alford. Pooling resources enabled them to have larger buying power and shared advertising costs, while retaining individual ownership of their respective stores. Soon thereafter, Bruce Thompson and Ed Hughes formed a corporation that began the growth and expansion of Market Basket that continues today with the addition of new markets and the redesign of existing stores.

Bruce and Alletta Thompson purchased Ed Hughes interest in their joint venture in 1983 and continued the company’s phenomenal growth and expansion, building new stores and renovating existing locations with state-of-the-art equipment and cutting edge technology.

Today, Market Basket has a total of 31 stores, including the Mercado de Familia on College St. in Beaumont and a convenience store located at Phelan Blvd. at 23rd St. in Beaumont. To stay ahead of ever expanding customer needs, Market Basket has added floral departments, bakeries & delis, pharmacies and fresh seafood markets in numerous stores.

Market Basket is a third generation family owned and operated business that takes pride in exceptional customer service. “We are proud of our heritage and excited about our future and the next 50 years for Market Basket,” said Skylar
Thompson, the company’s President.

A discussion of the accomplishments of the Market Basket corporation would not be complete without including their philanthropic efforts across numerous communities in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. And it’s not just monetary donations to communities and organizations ranging from the American Cancer Society to the YMBL, it’s also countless hours of community and civic service that foster a spirit of giving throughout the entire Market Basket organization.

Both Bruce and Skylar Thompson are recipients of the Boy Scout’s Good Citizenship Award and Texas Retail Grocer of the Year Award. In 1999, Skylar received the National Grocers Association’s Spirit of America Award, and in 2010 Market Basket won the prestigious Spindletop Award that recognizes area businesses for outstanding corporate citizenship.

Market Basket, the company that has been a staple in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this month. In conjunction with Coca Cola, Allen Samuels Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Billy Navarre Chevrolet, Market Basket is giving away a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup in Texas and a Chevrolet Silverado pickup in Louisiana as part of the month-long festivities.