In 1916 Athanasios (Arthur) and Efrosini Demoulas opened a grocery store that specialized in fresh lamb in Lowell, Massachusetts.
During the late 1930’s, when the company was operating mostly on credit due to the Great Depression, the family soon found themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. The youngest son, Mike, quit school to work at the store and the family managed to avoid bankruptcy and failure.
In 1954 the couple sold the store to two of their six children, brothers Telemachus (Mike) and George DeMoulas.
When George died in 1971, Mike became the sole owner of the chain.
Because each brother had promised the other to provide for his family in event of his death, the heirs of George sued Mike for defrauding them out of their rightful portion of the company by moving assets into shell companies.
In 1994 a judge ruled that Mike had defrauded the heirs for the sum of $500 million and transferred 51% of DeMoulas’ stock to George’s family.
Today the company is once again embroiled in a controversy; this time between Mike’s son Arthur T. DeMoulas and George’s son Arthur S. DeMoulas.
President Arthur T. was fired by the Board of Directors, led by Arthur S., in June 2014, sparking protests from employees and causing disruptions in service. By the end of July 2015, Arthur T.DeMoulas was reinstated as CEO.
The families finally reached an agreement in August of 2014 when Arthur T and his sisters offered to buy the shares of the company owned by Arthur S for $1.5 billion. This bid was said to be out of desperation since the company was losing hundreds of millions of dollars during the strikes and protests. The deal was accepted and closed in December of 2014.