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Dorchester Star: Franchot promotes Shop Maryland in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE — The Simmons Center Market family welcomed a visit from Comptroller Peter Franchot on Friday, Dec. 15, part of his annual initiative to encourage consumers to shop at small, local businesses during the holiday season.

“Stores like Ricky’s employ our neighbors and friends,” said Franchot. “They contribute also to tax revenue, strengthen our communities by philanthropic contributions, and represent almost 70 percent of the economic activity in the state. They’re very under-appreciated.”

Franchot presented Ricky Travers, owner of Center Market, with this year’s Shop Maryland for the Holidays window sign, which he posted right beside last year’s sign already hanging on the front door.

“This is the center of downtown Cambridge,” said Maryland Senator Addie Eckardt. “We appreciate our family businesses.”

Center Market just recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, and Franchot thanked the Simmons family for their contribution to the community and congratulated them on the longevity of their business.

“We’re in business. We’re here for local people,” said Calvin Travers, Ricky’s father and also an owner of Center Market. “We’ve been here 80 years, and we plan to continue for many more.” Center Market was also honored recently as the Maryland Retailers Association inducted the business into its Food Industry Hall of Fame. As Hall of Famers, the Simmons family is in the company of other notable names such as Frank Perdue and former Governor William Donald Schaefer.

“I’m proud to say that I’m part of the community during this festive time, and (Center Market) has been an anchor for all of my life,” said Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. “We have another generation to carry on the torch, and it’s important that we commemorate our history and plan for the future.”

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