Home » Family-Run Trucchi’s 92 Years Old And Thriving Despite Challenges

Family-Run Trucchi’s 92 Years Old And Thriving Despite Challenges

Trucchi

by John McCurry / contributing writer

Jim Trucchi grew up in his family’s grocery business in Massachusetts. He’s now the CEO of Trucchi’s Supermarkets, a six-store chain, and thanks in part to the challenges of running a business during a pandemic, he’s never been busier.

“I’m 67 and I’ve been doing this since I was a young boy, working for my father, so I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Trucchi said. “We’ve been in business 92 years. I’ve never, never come close to witnessing anything like this. It’s been so surreal that it is hard to explain.”

Trucchi
Jim Trucchi

During the early weeks of the state’s shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the usual products such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies disappeared off of shelves. Business was brisk and continues to be.

Challenges included determining how many customers to allow in the store at one time and retaining workers. Some employees opted to take time off due to autoimmune issues or being older. Others had sick family members and were afraid of bringing the virus home.

More recently, meat shortages have been the big supply chain issue as processing plants shut down. Through it all, Trucchi said his staff has handled it well.

“We kept our customers maybe not 100 percent happy—because I don’t think that exists anymore—but we had far fewer complaints than I would have thought,” he said.

The chain has its own distribution center in Raynham and that has helped. It also has a secondary supply through C&W Wholesale Grocers. But Trucchi said for the most part, the chain’s good inventory heading into the pandemic has helped. Trucchi’s operates stores in Abington, Middleborough, New Bedford, West Bridgewater and two in Taunton.

All Trucchi’s employees wear masks at work. Customers are required to wear them, too, due to Gov. Charlie Baker’s order, effective May 6, that requires wearing face masks or cloth coverings when social distancing is not possible. There have been some issues with a few customers objecting to wearing masks, but Trucchi said it hasn’t resulted in major confrontations.

Trucchi believes many of the changes such as installation of plexiglass at cashier stations and one-way aisles will last for a while.

“This thing goes week to week,” he said. “Things change. A month ago, things were changing on a daily basis. We would have a meeting every morning to see what were the new issues that day. This will continue until they find a vaccine to quell this thing.”

So far, Trucchi’s hasn’t joined the parade of grocers embracing online ordering. The chain has helped some elderly customers by putting orders together for them and either delivering or arranging for pickup. Trucchi said he may add online ordering in the future.

“I would say so,” he said. “I started out as a boy in the 1960s delivering groceries. I was so happy when that went away because it was a nightmare back then, and I didn’t ever really want to get back into it, but it’s almost going to be mandatory now.

“I’ve run the whole gamut in the grocery business, and now it looks like I’m cycling right back to where I started.”

Trucchi’s gave employees a $2 per hour hazard pay increase. Employees who have stayed with the company have worked hard, Trucchi said, and he acknowledges they are tired. Everyone has been working six or seven days a week. The frantic pace seems to be winding down a little now.

“It may not ever go back to the way it was, but it is not going to be like it was at the beginning, either,” Trucchi said. “People are not going to rush back to restaurants right away. There are not going to be as many people going on vacation this year. People are still going to be staying home more, which will continue to help our sales.”

With restaurants closed for long periods of time, people are cooking more often, especially baking. Trucchi reports that his stores have at times been cleaned out of flour, sugar and yeast. He said he was shocked that it became difficult to keep yeast stocked. That’s another trend likely to continue, he said, adding that people have discovered they can save money by preparing food themselves.

“When anything bad happens, something good comes out of it,” Trucchi said. “Cooking at home, sitting down together, having meals at the table with the family—people had gotten away from that. Maybe now they will keep a little bit of that.”

Trucchi wonders if hot bars at grocery stores may be a pandemic casualty. Stores in Massachusetts aren’t currently allowed to have those open.

“Are people going to go back to wanting food bars? I don’t think so. At least not right away,” he said. “So that’s a trend that went up and now it’s gone back. Maybe it’s just temporary, but it won’t come back as quick as I would like.”

2 Comments

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  • A great supermarket retailer to acknowledge. Jim Trucchi is a lifelong grocery retailer who really understand todays retail food. Check out the stores when your in the area you will like what you see!

  • I have know the Trucchi family for close to 40 years. I actually did business with them for a number of years and they are very hardworking and honorable people and take great pride in their stores. They are a wonderful close family and truly are a hometown store. I wish them many more years of success.

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