What is in this article?:
- Roche Bros. Marks 60-Year Milestone as Family Chain
- Small Format Planned
- Growth in Online Sales
- 60 Years of Growth
“The values of my father and uncle who founded the company were simple — treat the customers and vendors and associates the way you want to be treated, and that’s the way it stands today.”
— Ed Roche, chief operating officer, Roche Bros.
Roche Bros. now operates 18 stores in Massachusetts.
Growth in Online Sales
Investing in efforts like online ordering can only help the company’s image as a service provider, Pfeil explained.
Although he declined to discuss sales volume of the home delivery service, Pfeil described it as “a big and growing business.”
“It’s a valuable service to our customers,” he said. “It’s popular with young mothers, the elderly, people that can’t get out, people who are working in their homes, and we see it as a pretty big growth vehicle going forward.”
The company has a fleet of three-compartment vans with sections for frozen, refrigerated and ambient-temperature storage.
“When the business is strong enough, it is sustainable, and we are finding ways to improve our profitability, and provide a service that’s very needed in this marketplace,” Pfeil said.
The company also continues its strategy of deliberate expansion through new traditional store locations, primarily in its core marketing areas around Boston.
“When we can expand and it is in the right area, we certainly will, but we are not impatient about expansion,” Pfeil explained. “We just want to make sure wherever we go the brand fits in the marketplace, and we will be successful.”
The high service levels at the chain are key, Pfeil and Roche told SN, and stem from a familial culture at the company where employees are deeply engaged.
“Our people go above and beyond,” Pfeil said. “I could tell you 100 stories about associates who pulled apart a whole case looking for someone’s diamond ring, or fixed flat tires in the parking lot, or sent customers’ orders home when they forgot their checkbook.”
He cited as an example a fire that damaged one of the stores last year. When other employees learned of the fire at 11 p.m., “hundreds” of workers showed up to clean the store and restock the shelves to get ready for a 7 a.m. opening the following day.
Read more: Roche Bros. No. 20 in SN's Top 50
“They came because they wanted to help, not because they were told to,” said Pfeil.
“There is a responsibility of this ownership to the people, that is very uncommon in business today. The family certainly understands that they would not be successful without the support of the 4,200 people who work for us. It’s a two-way relationship. The associates feel it and the ownership feels it.
“I’ve worked for a number of good companies,” said Pfeil, who joined Roche Bros. in 1996. “I have worked for some places that are very nice, but this place is special. You see it in the pride of the people who work here, in the pride of the company, and the pride of family that owns it.”