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Londonderry’s Moonlight Meadery halts Market Basket deliveries

Union Leader Correspondent

August 20. 2014 1:17PM

LONDONDERRY — It’s been nearly three decades since Michael Fairbrother worked for Market Basket, but the Londonderry businessman hasn’t forgotten those who helped him along the way.

On Wednesday, Fairbrother, who owns Moonlight Meadery at 23 Londonderry Road, said he plans to show his support for Market Basket employees by taking his products off the store’s shelves for the time being.

“I made this decision about three weeks ago,” said Fairbrother, who visited one local store and became concerned after hearing some of the workers’ personal stories.

“I knew this was the right thing to do,” he added.

Moonlight Meadery has been selling its products in 36 Market Basket stores for the past several years and also hosts frequent tasting events inside those stores.

Company officials said most of the participating Market Basket stores sell two cases – or more – of Moonlight Meadery beverages each week.

With the wholesale price of each case at about $100, the honey wine manufacturer is preparing to take a significant profit drop in the wake of the Market Basket strife.

Since the employees’ strike began last month, some of the invoices sent to Market Basket have gone unpaid, according to company officials.

“It’s having quite the impact on us,” said Fairbrother. “So we’re definitely hoping to see all the employees and (ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas) reinstated soon.”

“In any case, we’ll be withholding all deliveries until then,” he added.

The Londonderry resident worked for Market Basket from 1982 through 1987, climbing his way up from store worker to corporate level.

“I began working there in high school,” Fairbrother said. “Then it was my first professional job out of college.”

“Everything I ever learned about working hard, I learned it there.”

Moonlight Meadery isn’t the only company pulling away from Market Basket in response to the employee upheaval.

In a statement dated Aug. 18, Tim Mally, CEO of Boston Sword & Tuna, announced an end to the company’s longstanding relationship with the troubled supermarket chain.

“We have enjoyed our business relationship with Market Basket, its former owners and buyers,” Mally said. “In our opinion, the only way forward is for the fired associates to come back.”

Business Londonderry

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