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Doing business the old fashion way when a person's word still means something

Storycorps200 I love NPR's StoryCorps series. These are real stories told by real people and it has helped restore my faith in human kind. It has reminded me that the important things that happen in life happen between every day people who are kind to each other. One such story is the story about Cronig's Market and the relationship which developed between Robbie Cronig and Stever Bernier. It would be a far different world if people operated this way every where.

Robbie Cronig took over his father and uncle's market, Cronig's Market, on Martha's Vineyard which had been started in 1917. After working at the store his whole life he sold it to Stever Bernier who had worked at the store for years. It was sold on a handshake something very rare these days. Here is part of what it says on the StoryCorps web site:

Bernier says that shortly after he met Cronig, they discussed him buying the store.

"You slapped the keys in my hand and you said, 'Someday you're going to own this place,'" Bernier recalls.

"It was wonderful because [Bernier] was exactly what I wanted to take over the business and no way in the world could I refuse," Cronig says. "I didn't ask for a nickel down. I didn't ask for any paper, anything. And he was the most honest man I've ever done business with, ever."

"One of those nights, we shook hands and closed the deal," Bernier says. "There was no negotiations, there was no bickering, there was no nonsense — we just shook hands, nodded with approval and that was it. The deal was done."

To listen to Steve and Robbie tell their story click on the link below. The story is short, maybe 4 minutes or so. It is well worth the listen.

Link: NPR : A Martha's Vineyard Institution Changes Hands.


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