Brothers Marketplace: An Amazing Neighborhood Grocery Store in
Eric Hurwitz. Page created on 3/22/17. All photos by Eric unless
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Driving around downtown Medfield, Mass., past Park Street
Books, Butterfly Tree Gift Boutique Shop,
A&D Appliance Center and the Noon Hill Grill located in the former
train station, the small town feeling felt quite nice -- like something
out of a Leave it to Beaver
Even with its appealing downtown ways, Medfield did take a huge hit to
its retro qualities in 2013 as Lord's Department Store
closed after 60 years in business. Fortunately, the Roche Bros.
supermarket chain, based in Wellesley, Mass., recognized Medfield's
pleasing downtown and overall potential, and decided to open a
neighborhood grocery store called Brothers Marketplace in the former
Lord's Department Store spot. The store opened on July 29, 2014 -- the
second Brothers Marketplace opening, following the Weston, Mass.,
location's debut on May 18 in the same year.
While Brothers Marketplace does possess that old-time community feel --
largely due to its mere presence in a downtown area -- the look is more
21st century with a sleek design and a hustle and bustle that working
professionals carry over from the office to the store. Still, the 9,000
square ft. facility -- small compared to, say, the Whole Food's Dedham
60,000 sq. ft. store -- creates an innate, intimate feeling that is
definitely closer to an older neighborhood market rather than the
modern grocery store no matter how many up-to-date, HGTV-type modern
furnishings saturate the food store. Being at the corner of quaint Main
St., and a tree-lined side street further validates its homage to
Look and feel aside, Brothers Marketplace's inventory is what really
makes the place special. The produce section -- with some of the
freshest local fruits and veggies you'll see -- has an appealing
market layout. There's a butcher and seafood shop (because Roche Bros.
typically carries meats, fish, and produce superior to other
supermarket chains, Brothers Marketplace is clearly at an advantage) an
diner with everything from
burgers to ice cream and breakfast sandwiches, an indoor/outdoor bakery
cafe, a take-out food
section with made-on-the-premises items, and specialty foods all over
Local produce from Brothers Marketplace.
Great selection of locally-grown corn during the summer at
Brothers Marketplace features a wonderful neighborhood grocery
Brothers Diner at Brothers Marketplace.
Brothers Diner brings together the past and present of this location
wonderfully. Brothers Diner, while beautifully fostering a diner’s
classic interior look and vibe, employs Roche Bros. employees to run
the diner, as opposed to a leased operation -- this allows for more
consistency in its food offerings. The Diner focuses on
“clean ingredients,” and high-quality sourcing, while still offering
many diner food classics, according to Dena Kowloff, director of
marketing Roche Bros.
“Isn’t that what a diner should be?” said Kowloff. “We serve diner food
in a friendly neighborhood setting, but you can also ask where anything
The Diner sources hormone and antibiotic-free meats including Angus
beef sourced from Niman Ranch, of Northglenn, Colorado and a delicious
pastrami from McKenzie Country Classics out of Burlington, Vermont.
Diner coffee -- often traditionally tepid in many diners -- takes on a
full-bodied and smooth-tasting flavor at Brothers Diner, courtesy of
Armeno Coffee Roasters from Northborough, Massachusetts. Byrne Dairy, a
beloved, fourth generation dairy farm in Upstate New York, supplies ice
cream, which Brothers Diner offers in scoops, sundaes, banana splits,
root beer floats and frappes. Brothers Diner also features other
“sweet items” like milkshakes, and lime and raspberry rickeys.
“It’s insane how many kids come in after school,” said Brothers Diner
Manager, Jennifer Humphrey, of the ice cream crowd. “It’s like frappe
The old-time soda fountain features Maine Root handcrafted sodas made
with Fair Trade organic evaporated cane juice. Soda flavors include
regular and diet cola, black cherry, root beer and ginger brew, as well
Breakfast items range from the familiar (pancakes, eggs any style,
French toast, Belgium waffles) to signature, artfully-prepared
creations like the Brothers Breakfast Sandwich with fried egg, cheese
and grilled pastrami served on a Brioche roll. The lunch menu has
several burger offerings, along with classic diner comfort foods like
homemade soups, hot dogs, mac and cheese, tuna melts, club sandwiches
and grilled cheese.
Mouthwatering burger from Brothers Diner.
Equally mouthwatering pastrami breakfast sandwich with a cup of
coffee from Brothers Diner.
Tucked away in the right corner of Brothers Marketplace, Brothers Diner
seamlessly fits into the handsome, updated 21st century look of the
entire grocery store, but somehow maintains its own retro identity.
With counter, stools, coffee always brewing and wonderful small town,
hometown conversations amongst customers and staff, Brothers Diner does
what a diner is supposed to do -- that is, take you away from the
stresses of the world and into a welcoming, homey place with no
pretensions and a staff that comes across like second family. The
veteran employees seem like the nicest aunts, uncles and cousins, and
the kids working there often act like a favorite nephew or niece.
Humphrey, as an example, works with the authentic style of a
down-to-earth diner waitress by working many tasks, at once, but with a
priority to always connect with regular and new customers. She clearly
has a love for creating food and making friends.
“I’ve been in the kitchen my whole life,” said Humphrey. “I love this
job and it’s great to see the town come here.”
“We are picky with the hiring process,” said Rob Croft, the store
manager. “The kids work hard and are friends not only inside work, but
also outside. It works to an advantage here that they are genuine
friends. When friends work side-by-side, that is the most ideal
Brothers Diner also continues the Lord’s tradition by giving back to
Diner employees cannot accept tips, but that does not stop customers
from doing so. Staff then decides which charity to donate the money,
according to Croft.
Nostalgic scenes of yesteryear, too, in the every day lives of local
residents look like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Morgida recalls an older couple once creating a priceless moment at the
“When we first opened, an older couple parked in the handicap section
and came into the diner,” said Aimee Morgida, director of operations
for Roche Bros. and Brothers Marketplace. “It was their date night and
they got frappes. They were reliving the Lord’s days.”
Brother Marketplace is, no doubt, a wonderful addition to downtown
Medfield. Additionally, they have pulled off a nearly impossible task,
successfully replacing the beloved Lord's Department Store with very
little complaining from locals rightfully still in love with Lord's.
For old-time's sake, they even have a painted mural of Lord's on the
side of the building -- clearly, a sign of respect to this landmark
store and the town, in general. And while Brothers Marketplace looks
completely different from the retro Lord's, one can still feel its
grandfatherly presence in the new market. Perhaps, Brothers Marketplace
is like the younger grandchild to Lord's, and is carrying on the proud
tradition with its own career path.
In a way, Brothers Marketplace's emergence signifies a potential
paradigm shift for small town downtowns -- that is, the neighborhood
market making a comeback. It has become a real game-changer by
attracting more businesses to a deserving town like Medfield.
What a pleasant setting for outdoor dining during the warmer
Marketplace is located at
446 Main St., Medfield MA. Tel. 508-359-6850
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