Originally printed in the October 2022 issue of Produce business.
Bashas’ recently celebrated his 90th birthday.
The Arizona supermarket chain Bashas’ was founded in 1932 by Ike and Eddie Basha Sr., along with their six sisters and mother. Ike and Eddie’s parents, Najeeb and Najeeby Basha, emigrated to America from Lebanon in the 1880s. They first lived in New York, but in 1910 ventured to pre-statehood Arizona and opened a business. The family moved to Chandler, AZ in 1920 and opened a store on Boston Street. When Patriarch Najeeb died in 1932, sons Ike and Eddie opened their own shop and named it ‘Bashas’, the plural meaning that the shop was run by the whole family. Today, the company operates more than 100 supermarkets in the markets it serves.
Certainly, as the company has grown over the decades, it has undergone many changes such as trends in agriculture, retail, technology, products, consumer and business.
“There have been tremendous changes in all areas over the past 90 years, including product range (we originally stocked dry goods, not groceries), shopping habits and food consumption themes,” said Ashley Shick, director of communications and public affairs, Bashas’ Family of shops. “Today, customers are making more specific requests, such as for vegan and vegetarian options, as well as special dietary needs such as gluten-free.”
The company’s current president is Edward “Trey” Basha III, the grandson of co-founder Eddie Basha Sr. “Trey” Edward Basha III continues the tradition of his predecessors by focusing on the many families the company serves, as well as the team members and the needs of the wider community. Giving back has always been an essential part of doing business for Bashas, and that commitment is as strong as ever.
Looking ahead, Bashas’ remains focused on its brand commitments, looking for future growth and expansion opportunities.
“In addition to growth, we are also focused on improving our digital capabilities in the modern marketplace to support consumer trends and interests. We will expand our commitment to technology and push for personalization when it comes to services such as delivery or collection,” says Shick.
As always, throughout the decades to the present day, products are an important part of Bashas’ merchandising strategy.
“Our goal is to be ‘Win With Fresh’ in all fresh produce departments, and fresh produce is a big part of that. As a local business, we will continue to focus on seasonality and source our produce locally,” said Shick.