The story of Supreme Liquors starts at the turn of the century in Boston’s North End. Young brothers John and Paul Cifrino immigrated from Campagnia, Southern Italy in 1900. John worked as a meat cutter and in 1907 he opened his first butcher shop on Salem Street in the North End. By 1919, the brothers owned seven shops around the city.
1919 was a year of change for the Cifrinos, as they closed their butcher shops and opened The Uphams Corner Market at 600 Columbia Road in Dorchester. The Uphams Corner Market is considered by many to be the world’s first supermarket, and at the time, it was the largest market in the world. They opened another supermarket in 1922. It was named The Manhattan Market and was located in the Central Square area of Cambridge. After selling both The Uphams Corner Market and The Manhattan Market in 1929, the brothers retired.
Retirement did not last long for John and Paul and in 1934 the brothers launched a new company, “Supreme Markets”. Between 1934 and 1938 they opened three stores under the Supreme Market name. The stores were located in the Wollaston area of Quincy, Gallivan Boulevard in Dorchester, and South Boston. The Cifrinos first applied for a liquor license for their Dorchester location in 1936, a license that they have operated with for the last 78 years. No other liquor store in the area has held a liquor license as long as Supreme.
In 1945, Paul Cifrino died. His three sons Paul Jr., John and Jim took over operations of the three Supreme Markets. Under their leadership, the company grew to 15 grocery stores, 8 Laundromats, 5 liquor stores and a tobacco wholesale company.
1968 brought more changes for the Cifrinos and Supreme as the company merged with Purity Save-Mor to become Purity Supreme. The Purity Supreme grocery stores had liquor departments that were retained in order to give long-standing, valued employees a less demanding position as they retired from the grocery end of the stores.
Current CEO Tom Cifrino started working at the Supreme Market in Fields Corner in 1969 at the age of 16. He began his career by carrying groceries to customer’s vehicles. In 1974, the Cifrinos allowed Purity to buy out their grocery stores, and Supreme changed their focus to liquor.
From that point forward, Supreme Liquors operated the same four locations that are currently in existence. The locations are:
- 600 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
- 615 Hancock Street Quincy, MA 02170
- 540 Gallivan Boulevard Dorchester, MA 02124
- 508 Geneva Avenue Dorchester, MA
In 1974, the four stores totaled approximately 4,000 square feet combined. Today, the same stores are approximately 25,000 square feet. The Cambridge location has recently added a mezzanine wine section, and the Dorchester (Gallivan Blvd.) location has reconstructed its Adams Village parking lot and the store will soon be undergoing renovations.
We are proud of the long standing relationships we have with our store managers and many of our employees. Current VP and General Manager Steve Wilkinson joined the company in 1984 as a clerk in the Fields Corner location. He was promoted to his current position in 2004.
In 2014, we expanded our marketing department and added Jessica Oliver to our staff. She is our community liaison, online marketer, and plans tastings and promotions for all of our locations.
Throughout our history, our commitment to our customers and our communities has remained the same. Since 1936, we have offered outlet pricing and friendly, knowledgeable service on our vast selection of specialty beer, fine wine and premium spirits.