Keeping father’s legacy alive drives grocer brothers

December 09, 2009 at 8:58 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Keeping father’s legacy alive drives grocer brothers
On any given day, customers in Majoria’s Supermarket are likely to see one or more of the store’s four owners - all brothers - chatting up patrons on topics ranging from Saints football to the goings on in the parish.

And while the St. Charles fixture may look different on the outside after a recent renovation, that commitment to customer service was handed down by the brothers’ father and is something that will never change.

Barry, Dana, Marc and Shea all grew up in the store, which opened in St. Charles Parish in 1964 and was actually the first grocery located on Highway 90. Their father, Murphy,  got into the grocery business in Kenner and moved to Bridge City before settling in Boutte - where Majoria’s has sold groceries for 45 years.

“He went to school and graduated from Hahnville High so this area was familiar to him,” Barry said. “He developed the rest of the shopping center around Majoria’s and it was always a dream of his to see the center remodeled.”

The remodeling of the center, which also houses such businesses as Roussel’s Jewelry, Luling House of Flowers, St. Charles Printing, Carquest Auto Parts and Sav-Mor Drugs, was recently completed and has given the whole area a new look.

“We refurbished the facade and it was actually something that was 10 years in the making,” Barry said. “This was my dad’s dream and we wanted to do it to live up to his legacy.”

But changing the look of the center is not the only way the brothers have lived up to their father’s expectations. Under their leadership, Majoria’s has managed to survive competition from several grocery chains.

“We have seen Delchamps come and go and have remained even with Wal-Mart and Winn-Dixies moving in,” Barry said. “That’s because we take care of our customers and provide an honest product and an honest price.”

And each brother brings something different to the table that has allowed the store to thrive.

“It’s very rewarding working together,” Barry said. “We all have our own duties and some overlapping duties. It’s just a good mix.”

Barry said that at least two of the brothers are in the store at any given time, which is something that makes their customers feel comfortable.

“They know that we are always here,” he said. “Customer service is the main reason for our success and we want to make sure we are on hand in case they need anything.”

Barry also cited Majoria’s meat department and large liquor inventory as reasons that customers keep on coming back.

“We know that we have our own little niche, so we concentrate on doing what we do best,” he said. “My father laid the groundwork and we are just continuing his legacy.”

They have managed to do that not just in the face of competition, but while dealing with rising food prices and licensing fees.

“Nowadays, even drug stores like Walgreens try to sell grocery items, but we like the competition,” Barry said. “But food prices, energy prices and license fees have really risen over the years.

“We know that there is a certain price that our customers will pay for certain items and we are very conscious to keep our prices at that level, even if we have to absorb some of that cost.”

They don’t just absorb some of that cost, they also give 1 percent of a customers’ total purchase back to the community.

“That’s something my father started,” Barry said. “We like to give that money to non-profit organizations so that it stays in the community.”

A community that Barry said has given him and his brothers so much over the years.

“We have very loyal customers and families that have been shopping here for generations,” Barry said. “We have also had excellent employees who we couldn’t function without.”

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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