For those of you who have not met me, I am Eddie Prosser, store manager of the Fondren McDade’s Market. I am not your ordinary kind of manager who makes sure that the shelves are full of green beans, the floor is spotless and that everything is spaced just right. No, I am more. I am your Neighborhood Grocer. You own me; you are my boss. Many of you know that I came to Jackson from Pascagoula just as Jitney Jungle sold to Winn-Dixie and then Winn-Dixie exited the market in 2005. The McDades purchased the location — Belhaven’s Jitney 14 — that I managed. Wow, what a dream come true.
I was from the school that the customer was always right, that if needs are met and the experience is positive that they would be back to see me. Since I love people and I like to see people, I bought into that concept. That’s where the champions of customer service — Greg and Kathy McDade — come in. They had purchased the Fondren location in 2004 and my location in 2005. I was able to respond to customer needs at an even more rapid pace. I moved to McDade’s Northside, and after two years there, became manager of the Fondren store. Now, I am in the middle of everything — and I see customers from all three stores!
Why is that important to me, you ask? Do you remember when I said that I am your grocer? It is true. Like the old days, I want to know my customers, their families, and their needs — not just to sell stuff — and to build relationships. Family. Community. I am sad when my folks hurt and shout for joy in the good times. I beat up my employees (though not literally) to instill in them that each customer is a family member and we must treat them as such. In the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, the local grocery store was the hub of the community. The atmosphere was jovial and neighbor visited with neighbor. That is the atmosphere that you can find at McDade’s Market in Fondren.
I may not have what you are looking for today, but by the next time you come in, count on the items being available. That’s a real grocer. It’s not always about the price, or the selection. It’s about the customer, meeting needs, a friendly smile, and caring concern. That’s why I work in Fondren.
Contributor Eddie Prosser first wrote for the Find It In Fondrenâ„¢ Fall/Winter Guide and has submitted pieces for the spring/summer guide as well. We loved this testimonial so much, we couldn't wait to share!