When you walk into any Market Basket, you see those retro pink and white linoleum tiles on the floor. They’re the same tiles that were in store No. 1 on Dummer Street back in the day!

There are a lot of 50- and 60-year-olds running around Greater Lowell who can remember looking down at those pink tiles and a bit of sawdust as our parents pushed us around in a DeMoulas grocery cart on a Saturday morning. Those pink tiles are a tie to the past. They say Market Basket never changes. They say Market Basket is about old values. While America changed around us over the decades, Market Basket never changed.

For customers, Market Basket was and is about fair prices. A place where you can buy $100 worth of groceries for $85. These days, more than ever, those $15 truly mean something. For some of us who live paycheck to paycheck, those $15 mean we get to have food to eat on that one last crazy day before our next paycheck arrives.

And Market Basket was and is a real place. A place where an actual human being rings up your groceries instead of those stupid, soulless, self-scan aisles. A place where the kid from your neighborhood shows you where an item is. A place where the store manager says hi to you by name and blurts out the weekly specials over the intercom: “Attention, Mah-ket Basket shoppahs.”

So, Market basket associates, please know your customers are proud of you for what you are doing! You were blessed to have a decent, fair man for a boss who treated you with respect and generosity. You were blessed to work for a company where a minimum-wage job, could, with enough hard work, turn into a career and a salary you could raise a family on.

Don’t give up! Artie T. must come back! Market Basket must come back! This is about something much bigger than Market Basket employees or customers. This is about the middle class having a chance. This is about America.

Thank you. God bless you, and know your customers are with you.

Martha Coravos