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The Star Democrat: Franchot honors Simmons Center Market, promotes shopping local

CAMBRIDGE — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot stopped by Simmons Center Market Friday, Nov. 30, to recognize the store for its impressive tenure on Race Street.

The shop is celebrating 81 years in Cambridge.

Franchot, promoting the initiative of shopping locally in the state, said Ricky Travers and his family personify excellent qualities for businesses in Maryland.

“We’re here to just celebrate Ricky Travers and his family ... and what they represent in the state of Maryland, which is character, values, entrepreneurship, innovation and keeping your head above water in challenging times,” Franchot said.

Franchot said small businesses like Simmons Center Market are the backbone of the local economy, providing jobs and opportunities for community members. Chances for Cambridge residents to shop locally also are important as 70 percent of the state’s economy is driven by consumer spending, he said.

“Retail establishments indirectly employ 750,000 Marylanders,” Franchot said.

Maryland Realtor Association President Cailey Locklair Tolle thanked Franchot for bringing awareness to local Cambridge businesses. She said the association was honored to have Simmons Center Market as a member.

Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley said the outpouring support of Cambridge businesses, including the visit of Franchot, was a welcome sight. She said the community appreciates the generational sacrifice made by the Traverses.

“I also want to thank the comptroller for finding it in his busy schedule to yet again come to Cambridge. I know Simmons Center Market is one of his favorite establishments,” Jackson-Stanley said. “I think I’ve said it before: Simmons Center Market has been a bedrock for the community for many years.”

Travers said it was a blessing to have the comptroller visit his business annually.

“We’re blessed to be able to do what we do,” Travers said.

Franchot also discussed the new Cornerstone Award for Local Business Excellence, which will be awarded to local businesses that are innovative, independent and invest in their local communities. Businesses are nominated by online form, which will close on Dec. 31.

“If they’re interested in strengthening the communities they are located in, nominate them,” Franchot said.

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