IGA recently named Main Street Grocery, of Damariscotta, one of its Five-Star Retailers for 2020.
According to the IGA website, retailers undergo a series of assessments to ensure customers have an exceptional shopping experience every time they enter the store. Of the 44 IGA retailers in Maine, 15 earned the five-star award.
This is the first time Main Street Grocery has been named a five-star retailer, according to owner Jane Oliver-Gravel. Oliver-Gravel and her husband, Gary Gravel, purchased the grocery store from the Pierce family in 2018.
Oliver-Gravel described the assessment as a secret shopper-type evaluation; stores do not know when the assessment is taking place. Some areas of assessment include store cleanliness, produce freshness, and customer service.
“There’s a long list of things that they check off, and in order to get a five-star award, you have to do all the things every visit,” Oliver-Gravel said.
Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, Main Street Grocery has been at the forefront of relief efforts by contributing to food pantries, restarting a free food program to assist the elderly and families in need, expanding delivery, and offering curbside pickup. Oliver-Gravel was filling curbside orders when the email about the award came in.
“I remember I opened the email, but then we had a new order come in, so I shut my phone down to fill it,” Oliver-Gravel said. “When I did finally open it, I was excited to tell everyone.”
Oliver-Gravel gave credit to her employees for the store’s success.
“This isn’t an award for me, it’s for them,” she said. “It takes all of us to make this happen, because they check every department. And they really want to get it again next year!”