It’s likely that you’re going to end up at a grocery store more than any other store in a given week. You can put off getting a new pair of socks, but it’s pretty hard to make it through life without eating.

Brackett’s Market, which has been at its location at 185 Front Street for 15 years, strives to make that weekly (or daily) trip to the grocery store more than just the routine.

“We don’t want it to be just shopping, we want it to be an experience. It’s not like the corporate productivity thing, where a customer gets in line and they time you,” said co-owner Kimberly Brackett. “Every customer, when they’re standing in front of you, it’s their time.”

At Brackett’s, regular customers are known by first name. Employees know the store and their customers well, and can make sure to get you what you want.

“It’s unlike a chain store that’s just like a mill or a factory,” said co-owner Steve Brackett. “There’s nothing a chain can do to make that different, it’s just a different environment in the big 60,000-square-foot box store.”

Small and locally-owned doesn’t mean you’ve got to sacrifice. Brackett’s is a five-star IGA, and just recently its grocery manager Dan Stanton was nominated for Grocery Manager of the Year by Brackett’s Market’s wholesaler, Bozutto’s.

Kimberly is on the board of directors of the National Grocer’s Association, IGA’s National Retail Advisory Board, and is the former president of the Maine Grocer’s Association.
“That puts me, as an independent, in all sorts of good circles,” she said. “It brings Bath, Maine, to lots of places.”

Brackett’s Market also gives back to the community, regularly donating money to local and national organizations like Special Olympics.

Its products, too, measure a step above many other places. The meat counter is one of Brackett’s best features, with sausages made daily on-premises, and experienced butchers who know their stuff.

“You’re not going to find it made in the store in a chain. It’s all made someplace else and trucked in, they don’t do that kind of thing,” said Steve. “We make it every single day, seven days a week.”

And the food you see at the store’s steam table isn’t something that employees dump out of a package, it’s made at the store, too.

“They take time to cook meals that are tasty, they don’t just throw some dehydrated stuff, they cook from scratch,” said Kimberly.

Other unexpected gems include Brackett’s extensive selection of microbrewery-based beer. “The beer companies tell me about where we rank with other stores and sales. It amazes me, we do a very good beer business,” said Steve.

From start to finish, the employees at Brackett’s strive to make sure the customer gets what they need and leaves satisfied.

“We tell our customers if they’re visiting from out of state or here every day, they’re part of our family, too,” said Kimberly.

Brackett’s Market is located at 185 Front St. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, visit or find Brackett’s Market on Facebook.