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Joseph E. Fernandes papers

Identifier: MC-099

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photographs, awards, newspaper clippings, Fernandes Supermarkets newsletters, and video recordings.


  • Majority of material found within 1947 - 2007

Language of Materials

Materials in English and in Portuguese.

Conditions Governing Access

No known restrictions

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Fernandes is best known as the founder and CEO of the Fernandes Supermarket chain, which he started in 1947 when he took over his father’s grocery store in Norton. The chain eventually grew to 37 stores, employing over 2,700 people in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He sold the chain in 1979. Mr. Fernandes was born in the Madeira Islands, Portugal, on March 12, 1923, the son of José and Rosa (Teixeira) Fernandes. He immigrated to the United States when he was only 18 months old and lived most of his life in Norton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Boston University in 1947 with a bachelor’s in business administration, attending after distinguished service in the U.S. Army during World War II. Active in the retail food industry, Fernandes was co-founder and director of the Staff Super Market Associates, served as vice president of the Super Market Management Association, and served on the board of directors for the Food Marketing Institute as well as the Massachusetts Retail Grocers Association. He also served as president of the International Association of Chain Stores. Active in the Portuguese community, Mr. Fernandes was the founding president of the Portuguese American Federation and was instrumental in developing the television program “The Portuguese Around Us” (see MC 77) which aired on WTEV in New Bedford and later Full Channel TV in Warren, Rhode Island. He served as chairman of the Portuguese Cultural Union and was a member of the Portuguese Heritage Foundation. He received many awards, most notably the Order of Prince Henry Society’s Man of the Year in 1995 and the Peter Francisco Award in 1966. His civic activities included chairman of the Norton School Committee, chairman of the Norton Historical Commission, and member of the town industrial commission. He was an active member of the Republican Club of Massachusetts and ran for Massachusetts State Treasurer in 1964.


3.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Estate of Joseph E. Fernandes, through Marcia Fernandes, 2007

MC 99, Joseph E. Fernandes papers
Judy Farrar
May 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the UMass Dartmouth Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives Repository

Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA