My ties to S. S. Pierce Co. go way back to the 1940s when my stepfather, Eugene Little, joined the company as an executive at the Brookline Av HQ. I’m not sure what his job was, but I think he was director of public relations and was also involved with personnel in some way at the corporate level
My mother shopped by phone in the days when customers were assigned a personal associate who would call regularly to take their orders and inform them about "specials." The goods were delivered by SSP trucks to the customers at home. As a youngster during the war years I went to the office with my "dad" frequently on Saturdays and hung out with the people who were baking sticky buns, roasting coffee and nuts, taking olives from wooden barrels and placing them carefully in bottles with the pimientos facing out, hand-dipping chocolates and bottling sherry from great wooden casks. I enjoyed my role as an unofficial taster.
As a teenager I had a job at the new Chestnut Hill store on Rte 9 (where Legal Seafood is now). I was there before it opened helping to set it up and was on the cheese counter on opening day (ca 1949?). I worked there off-and-on on weekends, vacations and in the summer for a couple of years and may have eaten more cheese than I sold.
I remember many of the people at Chestnut Hill and management people I met at HQ but, being an old-fashioned type, I hesitate to use their names in a public forum. I did meet both Wallace and Walworth Pierce who were frequent kibitzers at the noontime bridge games in the Brookline Av. cafeteria. My stepfather died suddenly in 1953 of a heart attack while still employed by SSP.
We loved the company and it got in your blood. It taught me what quality and dedication to customers are all about. To this day I enjoy cooking. I hate being called a "gourmet" but don't mind saying I'm a snob when it comes to food and drink. After all I got my training at one of the best!