The history of the Paradis Family Supermarkets goes back to the horse and buggy days. Louis J. Paradis was the founder of the business. He started selling meat door to door in the little town of Fort Kent, Maine with a horse and cart. He would take orders for fresh cuts of chicken, beef, and pork.
He would work 80 hours a week to support his large family of 15. All of his family would help out with the work orders.
The innovation of Louis Paradis was quite amazing. To refrigerate the fresh products he would collect ice out of the Fish River and store it under sawdust in a root cellar. He would use the blocks one at a time through out the seasons.
For a short time in Louis’ life he left the butcher business and went to work in a mill, but all that time his heart was not in that line of work,
so he went back into the grocery business.
In 1948 Louis Paradis and some of his older sons combined their funds to create the first Paradis Supermarket in Fort Kent, Maine. At the time it was a Pine Tree State chain, then later converted into an IGA chain supermarket. The grocery business was successful. Louis was already well known for his high standards of quality and service to his customers.
In 1968, twenty years later, Louis retired and sold his store to 4 of his sons (Roger, Maurice, Ronald and Kenneth.) They moved from the rented corner location of Market Street (now known as NAPA Auto Parts) and relocated to a new location they now occupy on Main Street in Fort Kent. This building was built and owned by Milliken Tomlinson, their grocery warehouse distributor at the time.
In 1973, the four brothers took the opportunity to expand to another location in Caribou, Maine. This location became another successful endeavor.
In 1975, the Brothers sought out another location in the thriving paper mill town of Madawaska, Maine. This location was previously a First National Grocery chain that was converted into the IGA chain as well as all the previous First National Grocery chain locations.
In 1986, again the Brothers took advantage of another existing location in Brewer, Maine. The family was known, as in the past, to get all the young siblings together and clean and refurbish the existing location. This took them two long months to get the store to the standards that were handed down from Louis J Paradis.
In 1990 a brand new store was built on Main Street in Madawaska, this building was the 1st ever design that was their own. They relocated from the previous location (now known as Family Dollar) to the new building that fall.
In 1996 the Paradis Family changed distributors (from IGA to Shop’n Save) and took on a new look and strategy. As Hannaford Brothers became the new distributor, the Paradis Family had to learn a new operational style. Hannaford Brothers was our major competitor for years in Fort Kent, Madawaska, Caribou and Brewer. A few operational key personnel from Hannaford Brothers made us knowledgeable to their operational styles. The new age also brought on the need to learn new communication and training skills via the computer. So the family hired a private tutor for the next generation to learn the basic computer skills in Word and Excel.
In 2000, with the new millennium year, came the new generation of owners. The 3rd generation, consisting of 12 brothers, sisters and cousins bought out the business from
their fathers (the 2nd generation.) Along with the major changeover of owners came the purchase of three other existing Hannaford stores located in Caribou, Houlton and Calais, Maine. They then closed the existing IGA/Shop’n Save located on Bennet Drive in Caribou and moved over to High Street at its present location.
The 3rd generation of owners are: (Rogers’ Family) Danny Paradis, Kathryn Roy/President-director,
Donna Paradis and Paul Paradis. (Maurice’s Family) Judy Doustou, Thomas Paradis and Denis Paradis/Vice President-director. (Ronald’s Family) Kirk Paradis and Craig Paradis/Treasurer-director. (Kenneth’s Family) Rodney Pelletier, Carl Pelletier and Dawn Daigle/Secretary-director.
In 2003, the Paradis Family Shop’n Save Supermarkets and Pharmacy was recognized as Grocer of the Year by their peers (Maine Grocers Association.)
Many years later the quality of service our Grandfather inspired still prevail.
Today the Paradis Family is very appreciative and gives thanks to all the loyal customers for their patronage in all locations. The business currently employs nearly 500 associates throughout the Great State of Maine.
We give thanks to our fathers, all the great managers and associates who help us along the way to help serve you our customers.
Thank You from the Paradis Family.