At this Mass. house, trick-or-treaters could choose between a full-size candy bar or Market Basket rotisserie chicken

Off Beat

“I bought five at $4.69 apiece,” Michael Marotta said. “It’s America’s last great bargain – the Market Basket rotisserie chicken.”

Michael O’Connor Marotta displays a thumbs up with his Market Basket rotisserie chickens.
Michael O’Connor Marotta with his Market Basket rotisserie chickens. Courtesy of Michael O’Connor Marotta

Trick or chicken? In at least one Massachusetts town, Halloween costume-clad children could return home after a night of trick or treating with a bounty of candy and yes, a Market Basket rotisserie chicken.

Wether or not that sounds like a score, Michael Marotta of Maynard told that the idea was all in good fun.

As do most things these days, the idea started with a post on social media.

Marotta has always enjoyed Halloween. Years ago, he used to promote a big dance party in Allston known as “the pill” but in more recent years, he’s settled for finding a cool costume to get in the spirit of the day.

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Noting that the holiday fell on a Tuesday this year, Marotta said he initially felt uninspired as it is in the middle of the work week. Still, he and his wife wanted to ensure that their residence – located essentially at the bottom of a hill in their neighborhood in Maynard – would experience a bit of traffic from trick-or-treaters.

So, he made a post on a town Facebook page, noting that their home would have treats at the ready.

“And then I just made an off the cuff joke where I said something like, you know, I wanted to hand out rotisserie chickens, but my wife vetoed that,” so the household would have full-size candy bars to offer instead, Marotta explained by phone.

The post quickly took off with community members showing their support for the idea and encouraging the family to go ahead and distribute rotisserie chickens.

Given all the interest, Marotta said he felt that he had to give the people what they wanted, so he went out and picked up several rotisserie chickens at Market Basket. Again, he posted on Facebook, this time writing that the first five children at his door could take home a chicken.

In addition to the rotisserie dinners though, the household offered full-size candy bars.

Though that may be a dream for some, Marotta noted that he and his wife were careful to whom they presented the chickens, recognizing that not everyone may be thrilled to receive them.

“You don’t want to ruin an 8-year-old’s day by handing him a fully-cooked Market Basket rotisserie chicken when all he wanted was a Snickers,” he said, explaining that his wife would help make the call of whether or not to present one.

“I bought five at $4.69 apiece,” Marotta said. “It’s America’s last great bargain – the Market Basket rotisserie chicken.”

Out of the roughly 20 trick-or-treaters that stopped by, two actually took chickens home, Marotta said.

One was a father, who appeared “stoked,” apparently running up the hill and exclaiming, “I got the chicken,” according to Marotta.

Another parent initially thought the chicken was a prop and did not know what to do with it.

At least one person, who Marotta described as “a 12-year-old kid who was wearing a ‘Harry Potter’ Ravenclaw robe” declined the chance at a chicken, “which is very typical for a Ravenclaw, not accepting that kind of offering.”

“We wanted to give the option of like, yeah, you can have candy, you can have a Snickers, if you want, but you can also have this rotisserie chicken,” he said.

Overall, the reception was positive.

“The world is a miserable place right now and there’s just there’s so much to be upset about,” Marotta explained.

“I thought that handing out those chickens kind of brought a smile to people’s faces and everyone got a laugh about it,” he said.

Marotta also brought one as a gift to a neighbor’s house, where someone told him, “everyone keeps talking about the chickens.”

“So, I guess I’m the rotisserie chicken guy now in the neighborhood,” he said, adding that he plans to do it again next year after people asked him to do so.

Market Basket even responded to Marotta’s post on X, previously known as Twitter, writing “We hope you had a wonderful Halloween and that your trick-or-treaters enjoyed the chicken or candy.”

Marotta, who said that he and his wife practically live at the Market Basket in Maynard, was thrilled.

“So to have them acknowledge that … it was just kind of the glaze on the chicken,” he said.