Pennington Market a community asset

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To the editor: 
Never shop Pennington Market was the theme of a recent letter to the editor in the Hopewell Valley News. Comments on this are definitely in order.
It was difficult to determine if the authors’ rant was directed to a dislike of Gov. Christie or in support of laws raising the minimum wage. However, in either case, to place the responsibility for control or influence of the minimum wage directly on PQM is ludicrous.
The event held at PQM in which Gov. Christie spoke was initiated by the New Jersey Food Council which Pennington Market is a member, as are most of the food retailers in the area. PQM was chosen as the location for the meeting by the NJ Food Council and was attended by many other store owners and representatives. It was not Mr. Rothwell circling the wagons, but an expression of real concern about the impact of higher mandatory minimum wages on the whole retail food industry. Therefore if you have an issue with their concerns, instead of just boycotting PQM it may be advisable to instead just do your food shopping in Pennsylvania.
Pennington Market hires numerous part-time employees including both high school and college students, many of whom return year after year, as well as some retired people who wish to supplement their income. Working at PQM offers an opportunity to make money and instill a work ethic in the young people. The full-time employees and qualified part-time employees are offered competitive wages, loyalty incentives, generous health benefits, profit sharing, a 401K retirement plan and an employee discount. Many smaller companies do not offer all of these advantages. Being a great place to work is clearly evident by the large number of very long-term employees.
Within an overall assessment of PQM their support for local charities and youth groups should be considered. Michael Rothwell is a board member of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and provides weekly food donations, a major sponsor of the Hopewell Valley YMCA, works closely with the Hopewell Valley Central High School Structured Learning Experience, and contributions to numerous youth programs. Michael Rothwell is also a long time board member of Advanced Opportunity/Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey.
Enjoying life in Hopewell Valley for over 35 years has been a real privilege. The Pennington Market is a real asset to the community, a friendly, clean and convenient place to shop, an integrate part of the neighborhood since 1960. To vilify PQM in a letter to the editor with total absence of facts is irresponsible. The only fallout from NEVER shopping at the PQM is that you can be sure that none of the profits from your purchases will go to local charities or in assistance of our youth programs. 
Ben Cranston 
Hopewell Township 