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Grocer dispels rumors; store not closing

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By Alex Wimsatt

 MOUNT WASHINGTON -- For months rumors have been circulating that the Mount Washington Valu Market was closing its doors for good. 

To assure their customers and the community that rely on Valu Market for everything from groceries to sponsorships, vice president James Neumann wanted to make it clear that Valu Market has no intention of pulling out of Mount Washington. 

Neumann has no idea how the rumor got started, but he said people have been speaking as if it were fact. He’s heard it from customers, folks throughout the community, even vendors. 

“We have no intention of leaving this market ever,” Neumann said. 

Valu Market store manager and Mount Washington resident Dan Kelty said the company has been loyal to the community since the store opened in 2005. 

Working with schools, churces and local organizations like the Lions and Lioness Clubs, AARP and Mount Washington Community Ministries, Valu Market sponsors sports teams, food programs, afterschool activities, health and wellness initiatives, scholarships, and community events like the Spring Festival and Light Up Mount Washington, just to name a few.

“The store has never turned down requests for donations,” Kelty said. “We take pride in working with everyone in the community.”

Neumann admitted the company sustained some financial loss from late 2009 to late last year. And, like many businesses recovering from the recession, Valu Market has laid off some employees. 

Of the company’s 530 employees, six full-time and four part-time employees were laid off, but Neumann said Valu Market was improving and no more layoffs were expected. 

“People should have no reason to believe we’re closing,” Neumann said. “We remain as committed to the Mount Washington community as the day we first opened.”

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Part of the rumors may have circulated as Mount Washington lost a long-time grocery store.

Houchens, located on Highway 44 East, recently closed its doors.

Company officials had no comment on the decision.