William Mauro, owner of Southborough’s Mauro Market, dies at 85

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SOUTHBOROUGH – As a young man, Steve Mauro couldn’t understand a word of what his father, William Mauro, and his two uncles, Callie and John, were saying while mumbling between sips of drinks in the backroom of the store by William Mauro.

Years later, Steve realized that what had been chewed up in these unpretentious discussions made Mauro’s Market a respectable presence in the lives of the people of Southborough.

Son of Joe Mauro, owner of a Southborough farm, and brother of Calvin, deputy superintendent of the school, and John, head gardener of St. Mark’s School, William, 32, had bigger plans for himself in 1967.

He bought a market from the Ramelli family and ran it as a hardware store, which Steve said offered “glass cutting, screen printing, nail by the pound, and cornflake off the shelf services. high that (someone) should get a lifting platform to bring down a box. ”

In the 1970s the market added groceries, and when Steve graduated from high school in 1979 the store got a liquor license and over time evolved into a responding grocery store. to the needs of the small town.

William Mauro died last Tuesday after a period of poor health. He was 85 years old.

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“Willie Mauro was a pioneer. Willie Mauro went there, “said his longtime friend Mari Quirk, who moved to Southborough in the mid-70s.” There was always that energy of him and he was always there with a smile. “

Quirk sees the store as a significant contribution to Southborough. Mauro’s awareness of residents’ situations spoke of it, as Steve began to notice while working at the store as a teenager.

William Mauro's coffin is transported to the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Southborough on September 21, 2021.

“There were some people who came and didn’t have enough money to feed their children,” recalls Steve. “My dad would always tell me, ‘When so and so puts his groceries on the counter, put them in a bag. Don’t call them. Do not charge them. Let them go.

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During the ’78 Blizzard, Steve remembers National Guard personnel escorting his father to restock the store shelves. Soon after, “every can of vegetables and every can and bottle of beer” flew off those shelves.

Mauro’s daughter Cheryl Mauro looks back at the storm and thinks about trudging through the snow to help out at the store.

William Mauro's funeral procession stops outside his former store, Mauro's Market in Southborough, before proceeding to the cemetery on September 21, 2021.

“People make a joke (saying that) when we were younger we had to walk in waist-deep snow,” said Cheryl, who now lives in Douglas. “Well, we really did! ”

For Cheryl, working in the store remains a time when you feel a part of the city in which she has lived. Hundreds of people have been hired there over the years, according to Steve, and Cheryl has enjoyed the benefits of working with people in her community.

“I have had the opportunity to know people of all ages and generations,” she said. “I still have friends today because of the store. “

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One of them is Kathleen Zaniboni, who joined the backroom at age 14 in 1984 to make sandwiches. At this point in the history of the market, she remembers William Mauro’s brothers not only helping with their brother’s business, but also a cheerful environment.

Mauro's Market on Main Street in Southborough opened in 1967.

“As we get older and look back, there is something so special to be said about these daily gatherings of brothers,” says Zaniboni. “I felt the camaraderie there. There were always laughs and jokes.

Taylor Burke Ratcliffe agreed. On weekends throughout the 1990s, she helped Mauro from opening to closing, from the age of 13.

For her, it remains “Mr. Mauro.

“What I remember the most is working on weekends with Mr Mauro throughout high school and some of my college years,” Ratcliffe said. “We often spent every Saturday – 8 am to 8 pm – working in the store and we would go back the next morning to prepare the Sunday papers, make coffee for the regulars and listen to Elvis on Oldies 103.. “

Mauro's Market in Southborough, right, next to Mauro's Village Cafe, September 20, 2021.

For her, the experience has a timeless value.

“Sir. Mauro’s guidance and education was as important to me as anything I have had in my life, which includes higher education up to a masters degree and beyond,” Ratcliffe said. “The courage and work ethic instilled in me throughout my time with Mr. Mauro is invaluable to me, and I regularly share stories about the time I spent working with him with my colleagues. three children. ”

After retiring from the store in 1999, William Mauro served on the board of directors of Marlborough Savings Bank (now Main Street Bank), a job he was so proud of that in his will he asked Steve to l ‘take for’ one more ride through the store, one more ride through the bank, and (then drive) to the cemetery.

Mauro Market in Southborough, September 20, 2021.

On Tuesday, after Mauro’s funeral, the family granted his wish.

Although the market was sold and turned into a parcel store in 2013, the building still bears the name ‘Mauro’s Market’ as a reminder of another era – one that Mari Quirk says current Southborough generations are asking for, but do not know existed.

“All of these young people are asking for a sense of community (and) a place to stop for a cup of coffee and see your neighbor,” she said. “That’s what downtown Southborough was and it was because of Willie Mauro.”


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