Archive 2008 - 2019

More Than A Store

by Ted Dooley

Upon getting hired, and getting the who’s-who of Holliston Superette. I met Sheila Love, who I was told would make sure that I worked to earn my wage -– at the time, a mere $7 per hour. I met Judy Carnes, another Superette faithful, whose legendary baked goods I came to be quite well acquainted with.  I met Anthony Guidi, who would continue the Guidi legacy at the Holliston Superette even after his Uncle Paul had retired. There was Beverly Cray, who I had met previously at a Karate tournament in Boston, who assured me that I would love every second of working at the Superette. And after meeting a scrappy gang of high school kids that I would call my fellow stock people and cashiers, I met the infamous Chris Leoncini – master of the schedule, keeper of the books, practitioner of one of the most well-crafted Boston accents in town, and legendary member of the community. 

Over the following weeks and months, I became well acquainted with my fellow employees, and more so, with many of the loyal customers, who make Superette the store it is today. I became friends with Bill and Sylvia Stickney, who came in Sunday mornings for their weekly deli meats; Meg Porter, a frequent customer who purchased her grocery needs; the Shanahan family, who came in for each of their deli needs. These customers, among the countless others, who helped foster the love for the Superette that is reciprocal to so many. 

Over the years, an admiration for both the store and my co-workers was built. Hearing on a regular basis how appreciative people were for a store like ours, situated in downtown Holliston, where their basic household and grocery needs could be fulfilled, made each day at work that much more enjoyable.  Caring for each of my coworkers, was something that grew so important to me – whether it was  seeing how someone’s grandchildren were doing in Karate or hearing another’s excitement over an upcoming “Twilight” movie, we all shared in both the triumphs and sorrows of each other’s lives. 

I fondly remember when I was elected Class President my senior year at Holliston High School. My first call, other than to my parents, was to none other than The Superette. It was there that I received the encouragement to go out on a limb and run for this position. To no surprise of anyone who knows Chris, his response was simply “Great. What can I do to help? You guys have some money to raise, dontchya?"

Over the next year, many of my classmates from the Class of 2009 came to know The Superette was our base of operation, our fundraising HQ. When we slacked on having the monthly bake sale fundraisers we committed to, it was none other than Chris who called me early Sunday mornings getting me out of bed to come down and sell some quality-baked goods. When we lacked the goods to sell, it was none other than Judy Carnes and Sheila Love who slaved over the most delicious baked goods to make sure we reached our fundraising goals. While I would love to take credit for the wonderful things that my class had done, a great portion of them were due to the time, effort, and encouragement that The Superette had provided to my class.

Again, when writing and ultimately delivering my speech at graduation, it was none other than Chris & Company who gave me the encouragement and courage to deliver it.  I was quite nervous when I visited The Superette the morning before my graduation, but when I left, I held my head up a bit higher as I ventured off to the ceremony.

When I left to go to college in Washington, it was not uncommon for the Superette to receive a call from me at noon to say hello, and to get the response “It’s lunch time call back later!” – their loving way of saying, “Good to hear from you – we’ll text you later!” These calls, along with the occasional care packages filled with baked goods, were all too encouraging as I was venturing through the new and unknown experience of big city college life.|
When I made the decision to leave GW and return to Holliston to finish my studies at Boston College, and made the even more unfortunate decision to go part-time and start working to pay off the wonderful college loans, it was none other than The Superette who welcomed me back with open arms. Before I even had a chance to ask for some hours, I got the text from Chris saying “Smart choice. Be in at 9 am tomorrow ready to work.”  -- an unforgettable message that has led to 40 hours a week of fun. 

Through the years of working at The Superette, I have come to realize that it is far more than a local grocery stop.  It’s a donation center for the town, aiding in things from the Senior Auction to the Food Pantry. It’s Holliston’s own local “facebook”, replacing a dot com with a local social hot spot. It’s a high school student’s dream employer. And to me, it’s nothing less than family.

Comments (15)

Great article. I find the quality of superretes products outstanding and the price is usually less than chain based grocery stores where they serve butcher quality meats. The home town atmosphere in the Supperette is what makes it a superb experience. Holliston is a community that cares about it's members. This article is an example of that. That's what makes Holliston such a special place.

Holliston resident | 2011-10-20 20:27:46

Thanks for a great article Teddy. Superette is a fond destination for many of us. Can't imagine this town without Superette. Like several other Holliston stores you can always count on some friendly faces and conversation when you walk in. Chris is so generous in giving back to the town. I am so grateful to have Superette in our little town.

Cathy G. | 2011-10-17 16:14:21

Where else can you get bacon/hamburger meat? Freshly ground while you wait, no less... now, that's fine service and displays great sensitivity to us bacon lovers... Mmmmmmmm....bacon!

bacon lover | 2011-10-16 09:48:15

The "comments" speak volumes. Unfortunately, the author, in his self-promotion...drew negative comments to one of Holliston's "Finest Establishments"! - Arthur Guidi would NEVER have written such an article...even about his "OWN" place of employment!! Arthur and Nellie..."The Greatest Generation" for sure!!! The younger generation should learn from their humble "Heather" stated so clearly, how she learned from "Nellie's teachings"!! God Bless them both!! You both, set the stage for an AWESOME business!!

anonymous | 2011-10-15 00:25:49

We are so lucky to have locally owned, non-chain stores in our unique downtown. Glad to see Chris and his warm and helpful staff continue the personalized service, and the addition of a larger produce section is wonderful. I wonder if $$ realizes any savings in not having to travel out of town to a cookie cutter chain store, where the service is often less personalized and the profits head off to out of state corporations. When we pay a bit more at our local stores, we benefit from employing Holliston residents and increasing the tax base along with the social bonus less available by going to Millis or Ashland. Thanks for covering SUPERette

pat fuller | 2011-10-14 20:21:27

DOOOLS!!! Excellent refreshing article on a great place and nice people that represent our town. I suspect "anonymous" comments are just another loving way of saying "nice to hear from you" and "your going to get a thrashing when I see you for embarrassing me with your over the top kind words"...another old time Hollistonian trait for humbleness. I would also like to preserve another old Hollistonian trait of telling $$ to "GRATE IT!"...and at the same time apologize to the Superette for saying it...I'm just a patron so I can. Thanks for the service and fine products. and Teddy kid...keep up the hard work...your efforts and appreciation are the first signs of a great leader!

Sean | 2011-10-14 17:30:21

While we're all sharing memories...I used to work at the Superette in the late 70's when Nellie and Arthur were there everyday and the store was just two aisles. On the rare times when it was slow, Paul would hand me a ten spot and send me down to Walter's for a couple of clam rolls. Walter's may be gone but thank goodness we still have the Superette!

Lixy Carey | 2011-10-14 14:26:33

Dear $$... Buy a block of fresh parmesan and grate it yourself over your food...not only is it fresher, but the pricing will be better and you won't be so my opinion, the best deli man at Superette was Mark, who loved to talk hockey and was right on the money when slicing cold cuts...Superette's a great store and I'm glad it's in Holliston.

LD | 2011-10-14 12:45:25

I gotta say, the prices here are pertty outrages. I needed grated parm. cheese in a pinch so I had to run here to get it...DOUBLE the price for HALF the amount...can you say PRICE GOUGING????

$$ | 2011-10-14 04:41:16

Ted- Great article ! - Great store ! - and Great people !!!!

Brett Morrison | 2011-10-13 23:35:15

Ted, pay not attention to "Annonymous"..just another person trying to corrupt a great story. I enjoyed your story, it's stories like these that make me proud to be a resident of Holliston. Thanks for the story and keep up the great work at Superette!

Andrea | 2011-10-13 18:16:13

Apologies to "Anonymous" - most of them were approved.

Ted Dooley | 2011-10-13 12:50:48

Well said, Ted! Superette was my first job back in 1992 and I'm so pleased to see its continued success each time I'm back in Holliston. Nelly instilled in me the compulsion to always have my George Washingtons facing the same direction--in the register or in my wallet. :)

Heather | 2011-10-13 10:26:28

Heck of a lunch counter. Great daily lunch specials, and incredible sandwiches!

mcarleo | 2011-10-13 09:55:02

The author should ask for permission when using someone's name - and "IF" permission is granted, the author should make sure the spelling of "the name" is correct!!

anonymous | 2011-10-13 09:08:33