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The faces and voices of Market Basket

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    The faces and voices of Market Basket - Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Barbara and Peter Jordan, customers from Old Orchard Beach who traveled daily to the Biddeford store to offer their support to picketing workers, arrived Thursday with a bouquet of balloons and presented them to assistant manager Keith McGee, who hugged the couple. Barbara Jordan said she was impressed by the workers’ loyalty to Arthur T. Demoulas. “He has to be a special man to have that long-lasting support,” she said. McGee, a 21-year employee, said that people who work at Market Basket view their jobs as life-long commitments. “This is a company we built,” he said. “We called this a career for so many years, and the thought of losing our careers and this becoming just another job was positively frightening.”

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    The faces and voices of Market Basket - Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Gary Baribeau, 59, an assistant produce manager, stood at the store’s entrance and greeted customers Thursday as they entered the store. He said the company’s board of directors would not have relented and sold the company to Arthur T. Demoulas if customers had not boycotted the store. “It was the customer boycott that made the difference,” he said.

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    The faces and voices of Market Basket - Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Fred Sevigny, 59, a butcher at Market Basket in Biddeford and a 16-year employee, said the stakes were high for employees during the crisis because Arthur T. Demoulas’ departure would have been devastating for them. “He really respected his workers and treated him well,” he said. “If this went the wrong way, it would have meant having a low-paying job or no job.”

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    The faces and voices of Market Basket - Tom Bell/Staff Writer | of | Share this photo

    Diane Rivard, 54, of Wells, a loyal Market Basket customer, wept Wednesday night when she heard the news that the company’s former president Arthur T. Demoulas had bought the company. On Thursday morning, she went on a buying spree at the Biddeford store, purchasing $275 worth of groceries and donating all the food to a York Country food pantry. Rivard said she had joined the thousands of Market Basket customers who had boycotted the store for six weeks to show support for the workers. “Businesses nowadays don’t think customers are important,” she said. “But we showed the power of the people.”

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    The faces and voices of Market Basket - Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Denali Delmar, a Massachusetts resident on vacation in Maine, was so eager to see Market Basket get back to business that she volunteered Thursday to restock shelves. “I want to show my support in getting them back on their feet as soon as possible,” she said while stocking ramen noodles onto the shelves of Aisle 3.

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    The faces and voices of Market Basket - Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Ron Moulton, a 67-year-old Market Basket bagger from Biddeford, said he was impressed by the courage the workers displayed. “We put everything on the line,” he said. “At some point in life, you’ve got to stand up for what you believe in.”

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    The faces and voices of Market Basket - Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer | of | Share this photo

    Dot and Robert Campbell of Kennebunk, a retired couple on a fixed income, were thrilled to shop once again at the store because its low prices allow them to stretch their food budget, they said. While the couple bought only a few items Thursday, they plan to return next week after they get their Social Security checks. “After Monday, we will come back and really spend some money,” Dot Campbell said.

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