Marshall Smith opened his first store, along with business partner Peter Gas, in North Bay in 1982. Bay Produce was a small, 1,000-square-foot facility, located on McGaughy Avenue.
Marshall & Peter used to drive to Toronto in a minivan to pick up a case of this and a case of that.
The whole concept was based on finding the freshest produce they could because North Bay was lacking in that at the time.
The men would set up the counters in the morning and wait patiently for customers. Marshall would greet the customer at the door, then run behind the deli counter and serve them there while his wife worked the cash.
It started out very small and struggled like that for two years and when an opportunity to relocate to Fisher Street, came up.
The move to Fisher Street in 1984 meant more visibility and business to the market. In the first week, their numbers tripled and they bought a used tractor-trailer to make their weekly visits to the Ontario Food Terminal in Toronto.
Greg Smith was a 13-year-old boy, when he started helping his brother load the food into the tractor-trailer.
Marshall would drive to the food terminal on a Sunday afternoon, sleep in the truck and wake up at 2:30 a.m. Monday to be the first in line to select the best produce.
"He got me involved in the summertime to help because it was an exhausting schedule," said Greg.
"So, when I was 13, I started going down to the market with him. He would buy and I would load the truck."
Since there wasn't enough room for both brothers to sleep in the cab, they would lay down two wooden pallets on the box of the truck, throw on a flattened cardboard box and Greg would take his pillow and sleeping bag for the night.
Seven years into the business, Marshall bought his partner out and Greg started to run the market.
"We graduated to be able to hire a driver so my brother didn't have to drive the truck," said Greg.
The business grew over the next few years, during which time the brothers noted how many Sudburians often visited their store, asking when they would open a Sudbury market.
In March 1998, the brothers opened the Lasalle store in Sudbury and it was pretty much an instant success, said Greg.
"At the time there wasn't anything like this business here," said Greg.
"The most common comment I would get from customers is "When are you opening up a south-end location?'"
Greg & Marshall then decided to open a south end location in the spring of 2012.
"The customer is who we work for," said Greg.
"Keeping that in mind as we grow and never losing integrity when it comes to the quality of the product and the service we give our customers is important. That's how we stay ahead."