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In The Midst Of A Pandemic, A New Market Basket Opens In Plymouth

Sean Hurley
Operations Manager David McLean and Plymouth Market Basket Manager Mike LeClair

The 31st Market Basket in the state is set to open tomorrow in Plymouth. NHPR’s Sean Hurley visited the grocery store today to find out just how grand – or not - the grand opening might be.

Marie Alderink and her husband Elroy peer through the just washed windows of the new grocery store. The Hebron couple thought today was opening day.

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“Well, we've gone by several times and we said ‘When are they gonna open?’” Alderink says. “We're so happy, cause this is our favorite grocery store to shop at! And so we're excited. We're coming back tomorrow morning early six o'clock. We'll stay for the day!”

Credit Sean Hurley
Marie and Elroy Alderink from Hebron were hoping the store was open.

Operations Manager David McLean says he’s never hoped this before for a grand opening – but he hopes not too many people show up.

“Normally there would be a ribbon cutting, there'd be speeches, there’d be gatherings of people,” McLean tells me. “And what we're asking of the customers is we're going to be here for a long time. Not everybody has to come the first day.”

McLean says the original, pre-pandemic grand opening was set for March 20th. The decision to open tomorrow was made just last week after the governor announced the state’s partial reopening. 

“Having already had the store prepared,” he says, “it was easy to make a decision now that it's time.” 

Credit Sean Hurley
McLean and LeClair inside the new Market Basket.

Marie Alderink says today’s dry run has inspired her.  “I'm gonna dress up fancy for tomorrow!” she says with a laugh. 

Senior shopping for those 60 and older runs from 6 to 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. Dress is fancy - or casual. Masks are requested.

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Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam. An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio. When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at
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