On a good weather day, Louis Aragi Sr., owner Pine Island Farm of Sheffield, MA, was at an Antique Truck Club of America (Western Mass. chapter) show with his 1953 Model F100 Ford dairy truck. It is a business promotion truck.
Louis delivers milk while both he and his sons, Louis Jr. and Matthew, run Pine Island Farm. Louis was going to bring one of his cows to go along with his dairy truck at the show, but it was a long haul from Sheffield, MA, to South Deerfield, MA. The show has been a very popular event, with people from all over the nation and Canada showing up in Franklin County for this event.
In attendance, and an important part of supporting local agriculture, was Frank R. “Bud” Foster, who bought his first store at the age of 21 in 1941. It was the students’ store at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, MA. The school bought the store from Bud in 1951. He stayed on as manager and overseer of the Northfield Bookstore, as well as assistant to the purchasing agent. A year later he was ready for a new challenge and purchased a grocery store on Chapman Street in Greenfield.
After two years at the Chapman Street location it became apparent that a larger store would be needed. In 1954 Bud built a 5,000-square-foot supermarket on Silver Street.
In 1974 they moved to their present location at the corner of Conway and Allen streets, the site of the former Trifilo’s Market. Ten years later they enlarged the front of the store and added the deli, bakery and beer and wine departments. In 1990 the receiving area at the south end of the store was completed. In 2001 the addition of the of the grocery processing area and new backroom freezer was finalized.
Bud has taken a well-earned retirement. His grandsons Matthew and Jason Deane acquired the store in January 2006. Matthew is currently the president and Jason is CEO. Foster’s Supermarket is a family owned and operated business.
Foster’s is associated with C&S Wholesale Grocers in Brattleboro, VT. They carry a lot of local products from farms and local businesses.
by Joseph R. Parzych