Clements' was established in 1980 under the name Portsmouth IGA. A family run business, owned and operated by Donald and Barbara Clements, the name was changed on the company's 10th anniversary to the family name, thus Clements' Marketplace. Through years of service, Clements' has become an integral part of the Portsmouth community, supplying wholesome, fresh and traditional foods.
October the old First National Supermarket at 2537 East Main Road, which had been closed for a year, was reopened by Donald and Barbara Clements as Portsmouth IGA. From the beginning Don and Barbara felt it was important to be an integral part of the community. They found ways to support various programs and organizations.
About the market…
The store was a very old building at about 8,000 square feet, it’s basement housed the storage area and had conveyor belts and runners to bring product up and down. Due to space the departments consisted of the basics grocery, dairy, frozen foods, fresh meat and prepackaged meats.
After a small remodel a deli was added to the back corner of the store. This enabled us to provide fresh sliced deli meats for our customers.
We moved our deli towards the front of the market and added an oven to bake fresh bread and pastries daily. This was something our customers had been asking us to do and they were very pleased when we made it happen.
A major remodel to the market took place with an addition to the front of the building increasing our size to almost 11,000 square feet. This added space allowed us to expand our deli and bakery and begin to offer hot meals. Around this time we also added Beta and VHS rentals creating a video department. Customers were able to rent movies any day of the week which was a big hit for many years eventually dropping BETA and then converting from VHS rentals to DVD in the late 90’s.
In an effort to create convenience to our customers we added a list of services. Shipping UPS and Federal Express, laminating, helium balloons, postage stamps and free knife sharpening.
This was also the time we began a selection of prepared take home meals. While this section has expanded tremendously over the years and almost all supermarkets provide this product we
This is the year that the store name changed from Portsmouth IGA to Clements Marketplace. After a tractor trailer pulled down the side of our street sign, we had to replace the entire sign and decided to make a name change at the same time.
Clements Market’s Friends’ Fund was started. This program enabled non profit organizations to earn money simply by collecting Clements receipts. The program averages about $30,000 in payouts to local groups and has grown to over 90 organizations! If you are interested in joining please contact Pam@clementsmarket.com
We acquired the property that bordered our parking lot to the North and began to make plans to build a new supermarket.
Ground was broken and building began.
April 28th we opened our doors at the new location of 2575 East Main Road. Our Grand Opening was supported by local dignitaries and the Portsmouth High School band marching us into the new store.
This spring, we had our annual Easter Plant Sale, but in moving from the old store to the new store it was suggested that we make an improvement by adding a tent. From that Easter forward we have erected a tent and stocked a flower/plant shop in our parking lot for the weekend.
We signed on to be a sponsor of the Newport Gulls Baseball team. Each summer, we host a Portsmouth Appreciation Night and take some time to enjoy a ball game together in the summer weather. A great American pastime!
A new event was added to promote healthy foods. Each summer starting in 2003, we host All Natural Day under a tent in our lot. This promotion allows our customers to sample and purchase a variety of All Natural and Organic products. Many of these items are made locally in Rhode Island. People love to “try it before you buy it”!!
Don and Barbara turn the day to day operations of the store over to their daughter, Tracy, who had worked in the business since 1983. They continued to remain involved in some aspects for a few years before stepping out completely.
2006 was also the year G2G – Groceries 2 Go – online shopping with delivery and pick up service was added to the services offered. Customers were not only able to shop from their home or office, but they were able to get same day service unlike the other home shopping programs. Customers were very pleased that we now offered this at their local store.
We partnered with Kristen Niessink, a registered dietitian food and nutrition expert. As the staff nutritionist for Clements’ Marketplace, Kristin produces a cookbook, newsletters, and healthy product lists and hosts a monthly information table. She has been a great addition to our market and is a great resource for our customers.
Our annual Holiday Open House was changed from an evening event that ran 5:30-6:00 pm, to a daytime program 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. It is held the Saturday following Thanksgiving each year and gives us the opportunity to showcase holiday items for parties, quick meals to have during the busy season, specialty items to make a splash with your guests and much more.
We celebrated our 30th year in business. Throughout the year we had many events and promotions. We made a donation to Escobar Farm’s Fourth of July Fireworks show to help Manny Escobar have the biggest show ever! Manny has provided this show for years and funds it through donations and his own money. It was a great show – as it is every year!!
This year brought a new Pizza Counter with slices and whole pizza straight from our brick oven. This year we also had a new Store Manager join us. Mike Leverett added new ideas, excitement and energy to our management team!
This year we made many exciting renovations, including new refrigerated cases to greatly reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint. We also introduced our customer favorite freshly-made donuts in our Bake Shop.
This year brought the introduction of our I-Chef program. This program offers customers a large, rotating selection of delicious grab-&-go meal kits.