Coast Guard opens ‘MarketPlace’ for military members, families

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May NewsCAPE MAY, N.J. – Coast Guard officials marked the opening of a newly renovated Coast Guard Exchange MarketPlace at Training Center Cape May Monday at 10 a.m.

The MarketPlace opens following a $1.1 million renovation project that greatly expanded the previous store’s grocery, electronic and apparel departments. The expansion is also expected to generate more than $100,000 in annual revenue for vendors in the local community and has already created six additional jobs for the area.

Coast Guardsmen and elected officials paused during the ceremony to recognize the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and remember all those affected by the massive storm. Officials considered cancelling the ceremony after Sandy hit, but it was seen as a welcomed break by many local Coast Guardsmen who responded in the wake of the storm. Many Coast Guardsmen who responded to aid others during the storm were also displaced or had their homes damaged by Sandy.

“Many of our Coast Guardsmen had to leave their own families to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said Rear Adm. David R. Callahan, commanding officer of Coast Guard Personnel Service Center in Arlington, Va. “The opening of this MarketPlace is critical investment in our people and their families during a difficult time in the region.”

The newly expanded grocery department will allow the MarketPlace at Cape May to offer fresh produce, meat and other groceries at prices that will provide customers an average market basket savings of 20 percent. The Coast Guard is able to offer the discounted prices to service members and authorized beneficiaries through a partnership with the Defense Commissary Agency, which operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families.

The exchange not only provides a critical benefit to Coast Guardsmen, but it is open to all military service members, retirees, families and authorized beneficiaries. The store provides affordable grocery-store prices year round, which allows Coast Guardsmen the opportunity to invest even more in the local economy and community.

“The Exchange MarketPlace represents an economic development project and sustainability program in concert with the City of Cape May to ensure we have continued programs and services, economic growth, and affordability for everyone to continue to live and work here,” said Mayor Edward J. Mahaney, Jr., the City of Cape May. “The Coast Guard is interwoven into the fabric of our arts, educational and historical offerings here, and they are the citizens who keep the economic vitality of the city intact.”

The MarketPlace was established by Coast Guard Community Services Command in Chesapeake, Va., which operates 66 Coast Guard Exchanges throughout the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Income generated by the resale operation is used to provide the Coast Guard with supplemental funding to the service’s morale, well-being and recreation program. In the past 10 years, Coast Guard Exchange has given over $22 million to Coast Guard morale, well-being and recreation.

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