Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket cel­e­brates 80th an­niver­sary

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket wel­comed a crowd of more than 200 peo­ple to cel­e­brate the busi­ness’ 80th an­niver­sary on Thurs­day, Sept. 7.

In con­junc­tion with the Dorch­ester Cham­ber of Com­merce, a busi­ness-af­ter-hours event was held Thurs­day evening with light re­fresh­ments, free sam­ples, and spe­cial sales. The staff and fam­ily, in­clud­ing owner and oper­a­tor Ricky Travers and his wife Rosi, were there to greet guests.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Herr’s passed out free bags of chips, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Roast­ing Com­pany brewed up their cof­fee for free sam­ples, and Nice Farms brought their ice cream truck to hand out 80 free scoops to cel­e­brate Cen­ter Mar­ket’s 80 years.

All week­end, Herr’s chips and 2-liter Pepsi prod­ucts were only 80 cents, and Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Roast­ing Com­pany Cof­fee was for sale at $10 per can.

The team from Cen­ter Mar­ket re­marked in a Face­book post that, though they may not al­ways be able to com­pete with prices at stores such as Wal­mart, they pro­vide so much more in the form of cus­tomer ser vice, fresh­ness, and per­son­al­ized at­ten­tion that big box stores can­not of­fer.

“It’s a bless­ing to be able to carry on the trade and do what

my grand­fa­ther did,” Travers said. “In to­day’s world, it’s a tough time to be in busi­ness, pe­riod, but to be an in­de­pen­dent small busi­ness like this is even tougher.”

Cen­ter Mar­ket of­fers gro­cery de­liv­ery ser­vice to those un­able to shop, fresh and lo­cal pro­duce, hand-cut meats, fresh flow­ers, and made-to-or­der gift bas­kets suit­able for any oc­ca­sion.

As fall ap­proaches, the gift shop is ready with all sorts of decor, and mums are avail­able for your gar­den.

“We have to be very much niche-driven. We sell whole­sale meat and pro­duce to lo­cal restau­rants, and we’re still do­ing fresh-cut meats that you can’t go into Wal­mart and other places to get,” Travers said. “We make all of our deli sal­ads fresh, in-house. We stress lo­cal prod­ucts. We sell lo­cal milk, lo­cal cheese, lo­cal yo­gurt, lo­cal ice cream, lo­cal cof­fee, lo­cal pro­duce, and more. That’s re­ally what peo­ple want. As long as we can give them what they want, that’s what it’s about.”

Ci­ta­tions were pre­sented by Mary­land Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37_Mid-Shore; Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37BTal­bot; and Chris Adams, R-37B-Wi­comico; City Com­mis­sion­ers Dave Can­non and LaShon Fos­ter on be­half of the City of Cam­bridge; Melissa Kelly on be­half of U.S. Se­na­tor Chris Van Hollen; and Len Foxwell on be­half of Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot.

“You all are an an­chor in our com­mu­nity with a long tra­di­tion of fam­ily, friends, and com­mu­nity,” Eckardt said.

On be­half of the Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket fam­ily, Travers thanked the pa­trons, em­ploy­ees, sup­pli­ers, and all those who have sup­ported the busi­ness over the years.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

Mary­land Comp­trol­ler’s Chief of Staff Len Foxwell pre­sented a procla­ma­tion to the Sim­mons fam­ily on Thurs­day, Sept. 7, on be­half of Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot.

PHO­TOS BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

Old news­pa­per clip­pings and pho­tos doc­u­ment­ing the 80 years of Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket were dis­played at the an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion.

Just a sam­pling of the fall and hal­loween decor avail­able at the Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket gift shop.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Roast­ing Com­pany brewed up some free sam­ples for guests to try. Their cof­fee is sold by the can at Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket.

The gift and gar­den shops at Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket are ready for fall with decor and mums.

A new sign adorns the store­front win­dow at Sim­mons Cen­ter Mar­ket to com­mem­o­rate 80 years of busi­ness.

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