It’s a busy Sunday afternoon, and Jim Trucchi and his daughter Ann are trying to show me around their family’s newest grocery store in Middleboro. I say ‘trying’ because at every turn we are stopped by shoppers commending them on the store, chatting about friends and neighbors, or just wishing them well. And Ann and Jim know them all, greeting them each with warm smiles and gracious thanks. The same goes for their employees, who they praise effusively for their long hours and hard work to get the new location going. “They’re so excited, “ Jim says.
After more than eighty years, Trucchi’s remains, at its heart, a family business and it’s evident in every aspect of the store’s operations. Jim rattles off a list of siblings, children, nephews and nieces that are all involved in the business begun in 1928 in Taunton by his father, William Trucchi, Sr. Even those Trucchis not holding official positions chip in, he tells me, helping out during the store’s recent grand opening with set up, clean up and corralling carriages. Jim himself stops every few feet as he talks to me to straighten a display, pick up a dropped leaflet, or to ask a staff member to refill the homemade baguettes that have sold out.
Trucchi’s staff and customers share the family’s dedication to the enterprise, and many are second or third generation employees or shoppers. “We’re competing with giants,” Jim says, explaining that Trucchi’s focus on family and community, customer service, and unique, quality products is what has helped to set them apart. Among these are a wide variety of groceries, prepared foods and Italian specialty items reflecting the family’s heritage. Jim also cites the example of the recent headlines surrounding the widespread use of ‘pink slime’ in ground beef. “Not now, not EVER,” he emphasizes, “we grind our own from chuck right here every day.”
The newest and biggest of their six stores, the Middleboro Trucchi’s accommodates features not found at other locations, such as the soup and hot food bars. Nearby, the Magic Pop station regularly turns out the popular light and crunchy brown rice snacks, a cinema marquee and concession counter display more than 20 kinds of popcorn popped fresh on site (the caramel-cashew is calling my name!) and the smell of homemade doughnuts wafts across the produce section from the doughnut station. However, I am even more eager to check out the enormous selection, stacked floor to ceiling at the end of the aisle, of dried fruits and veggies, nuts, trail mixes, sesame sticks, wasabi peanuts, and sundry snack ingredients.
As we talk, Ann tells me that Trucchi’s community commitments mean as much to their customers as they do to them. “It’s important to a lot of people that if they give at the store in their town, it will stay in their town,“ she explains, referring to the various charitable initiatives Trucchi’s organizes throughout the year, including coats in October, school supplies in August and toys during the holidays. Trucchi’s also leverages the volume of their business to help local food pantries secure inventory, and even their waste doesn’t go to waste. In a novel collaboration with local partners Rick Frade of Frade’s Disposal, and Advanced Marine Technologies (AMT), both of New Bedford, Trucchi’s organic castoffs are turned into some impressive compost. My head is still buzzing as I finish my visit and head to my car, and it occurs to me that I had no idea I could be so thoroughly impressed by my grocery store. Who knew?!
Learn more here: Trucchi’s
Submitted by Sara Hellmold