- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at Town & Country Markets part-time (more than an year)Pros
The employees here are professionals and adults for the most part. You can spend your whole working life with this company if the grocery industry is what you want to do. Internally, there is a lot of respect for the people who have made it their career and it shows in the dedication and long tenures of the employees at the store level, as well as at corporate. This is a company that you can go "From Hire to Retire" which is becoming more and more unusual.
Promotions are most often made from within the company although not specifically from within individual stores.
The corporate office and the owners are very approachable and caring about the employees and visit all the stores with astonishing regularity. This attitude is held in store management as well so the whole culture is very supportive and friendly. No ivory tower here.
Training is offered regularly on many subjects and is always paid, including subjects that may not be directly related to any specific jobs. eg. CPR certification, Environmental Stewardship, ect... Cross-training into different departments is not only allowed but actively encouraged.
Work/life balance is heavily promoted as well as individual health and happiness.
Pay is union standardized (UFCW) for the union covered jobs, healthcare is very generous (more than the union minimums). Vacations and special days off are relatively easy to obtain with sufficient warning if they are not interfering with major food holidays. It is a union shop, but the company has what is called a "Me Too" agreement which means they don't participate in contract negotiations and just agree with whatever the union contract turns out to be after each re-negotiation, and in return the union employees never have to strike even if the other union members employed by the other companies do. Overall, the treatment of the employees is much better than the union contracts call for and there is no discrimination in policys between stores where different laws may apply. If there is a benefit that is required by law at one store due to its location, then all the stores get it. (specifically I'm talking about First day sick pay which is law for the shoreline store, but is company wide anyway and was before it was a law to begin with)
There is a employee discount which is 10% except for in December when it goes up to 15%. There are also regular perks given by the company like gift-cards on birthdays and for Christmas and for "extra service rewards" which is mostly achieved by being flexible with your schedule. (For example, I haven't paid for Starbucks or Jamba Juice since i started working there)Cons
Obviously, getting holidays off is difficult in a business that is centered on food. Be prepared to work a lot of hours in and around holidays unless you have the seniority to opt out or request them VERY far in advance. On the other hand you can also actively request to work on holidays (they are extra pay after all) and that is dictated by seniority as well. Basically, seniority means a awful lot in your scheduling, Especially in the front end. There is really nothing for that, it is a fact of the industry.
The business can be monotonous, and occasionally downright dull. Physically, it is very repetitive and repetitive stress injury is pretty common. Expect aching wrists, shoulders, knees, and feet. Good supportive shoes are NOT optional. Back and ankle braces are a regular site. The company doesn't skimp on safety, but freight is what it is.
Customer service is the core of the business and working with the public is working with the public. It is occasionally frustrating and stressful and frequently busy.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Some more ways of helping with the physical demands of the job would be nice. Get a contract with a massage therapist or chiropractor and maybe a discount on some really supportive good shoes.RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –
Town & Country Markets operates about a half-dozen grocery stores under the Ballard Market, Central Market, Greenwood Market, and Town & Country banners in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Its stores, which vary in format, are all stocked and supplied by the Unified Grocers cooperative. The stores also purchase much of their produce, as well as cheese, flowers, meat, and seafood, locally from farms and companies in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Town & Country Markets is owned and operated by the Nakata family, who founded the company in 1957. Today the son of...