Bing leads to wrong ‘Market Basket’

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I love your column and read it daily.

I need your help with Market Basket advertising. We get their flier in the newspaper on Sundays, and I heard that they were located in the Brunswick area.

I went online and checked out locations in Maine. It showed a location at Park Row in Brunswick. (I am enclosing the map from the Internet.) I went to MapQuest, to get directions, and they, too, listed Park Row as their location.

My daughter and I decided to check it out, very happy not to have to travel to Biddeford. It was nowhere to be found. We asked local folks, and they assured us there was no Market Basket in Brunswick. I am enclosing the pages showing that it exists.

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We called the listed phone number, which said it was not a working number. Can you help solve the mystery? — Anita, Auburn

ANSWER: There are a couple of aspects to this question. First, the name Market Basket. It is a common one, and there are other businesses using it.

According to a legal blog Sun Spots found online, this is legitimate. Laws governing who has the right to a particular name for a company depend a great deal on timing.

So in this example, if there were independent stores named Market Basket in place before the Market Basket that readers like so much moved into Maine, they cannot be forced to change their names, even if the chain Market Basket now has that name trademarked.

So there may be many Market Baskets in Maine that aren’t the oh-so-popular Market Basket. Warning: Sun Spots is told there is a Market Basket grocery in Harrison that is also often confused with the chain.

Second to consider is the Internet search. One of the pages Anita sent is a printout of her Web search. Sun Spots recreated Anita’s search and clicked the link she highlighted. It led to mydemoulas.net, the Market Basket website, which would lead one to believe it is legitimate, but if you search that site for locations in Brunswick, nothing comes up.

Apparently that link has been hijacked.

Which just goes to show you that the Internet can be wrong. A search engine such as Bing or Google will find any mention of the terms you enter. Where those links lead is another matter. Sometimes they are out of date, lead to irrelevant or dead websites, or are just plain wrong.

So after you get your search results, you need to take the next step and go to the website and follow up to be sure that the data is current and the business still exists.

Sun Spots dug around a bit and discovered that the Brunswick Market Basket was a coffee shop, apparently now closed. Because there was no news story on that closing (at least that Sun Spots could find), all that pops up when you search Market Basket in Brunswick is the address, which still does exist even if the business is gone, and lives to fool searchers for another day.

Finally, Sun Spots did a little more searching to see what she could find on future stores. Market Basket owner Arthur T. Demoulas said he plans to continue expanding, but he and some analysts say finance costs (he bought out other owners) could slow down that process. Demoulas said he still hopes to open at least a couple of stores in the next year or so.

Sun Spots also found a Boston Globe story announcing that the 4 percent discount that the stores have been offering will end Saturday. Shoppers had best get moving. But rest up first. According to WGME, Market Basket’s store is the largest supermarket in Maine at 107,000 square feet.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I would like to make pea soup using yellow peas. I have been to big markets and little markets, and all I can find are split peas.

If any of your readers (and I know there are many) know where I may find yellow peas, I would be happy to be called.

Thank you. I know your readers will respond. — Rita Gammon, Auburn, 783-8491

ANSWER: Axis Natural Foods, 120 Center St., Auburn, 782-3348, reports selling yellow peas. They are also split, which is a natural part of the drying process.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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