Vicente's Tropical Supermarket
Vicente’s Supermarket, a grocery store with two locations in Brockton, Massachusetts, is one of the first recipients of the Massachusetts Food Trust Program. They will be receiving a loan and accompanying grant to help renovate their original store location on Main Street in Brockton. The renovation will include façade improvements and an interior “facelift,” including new equipment and larger produce, meat, and dairy departments. The work is expected to be completed by August 2019.
Vicente’s is known for its vast assortment of high-quality, affordable, and culturally appropriate ethnic food. They are owned by the Barbosa family, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cape Verde in 1994 and have more than twenty years of grocery industry experience under their belt. After opening their first Vicente’s location in 2001, the Barbosas invested in a second store in 2015, which is co-located with the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center 1.3 miles from their original store.
Today Jason Barbosa, a Brockton native, oversees the financials of his family-run supermarket while his brother, Brian, is managing the new store and overseeing operations. In total there are about 100 employees at each Vicente’s store and almost all of these employees are hired from the local community, thereby reflecting the demographic diversity that exists in the area. By analyzing its workforce, Vicente’s discovered that many of their employees were living at or below the poverty line prior to being hired. Through working at Vicente’s they have now achieved financial self-sufficiency, developed key skills and responsibilities, and have opportunities for upward mobility within the company.
Downtown Brockton has a large population of people who are of Cape Verdean and Haitian descent and Vicente’s is proud to provide a wide-range of products which are not commonly available elsewhere which meet their dietary needs. In addition to the wide array of international foods at both locations, Vicente’s also sells prepared foods, offers free Lyft or Uber rides for customers who make purchases of $100 or more, and holds a weekly radio spot with Brockton’s Haitian Association about healthy eating and what’s happening at the store.
Congratulations to Vicente’s—we thank them for the tremendous work that they do to support the Brockton community by providing healthy, affordable, and appropriate food!
Images provided by Emma Turcotte (Local Enterprise Assistance Fund)