Tag Archives: Ukrop's

Talking Trash in Richmond

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email

Apparently, Richmonders are trashy…. I mean they produce 82,000 tons of trash each year. (couldn’t resist the little joke) I got to venture out of my beloved city today and into the far off land of Henrico County. (In case you were wondering, I rarely get to leave the the city. My beat is strictly Richmond!)  I went to Henrico to see the new garbage trucks that Richmond is planning to buy.  I was amazed how efficient they were. No more waving to the garbage man out your window as he picks up your trash cans. There’s an automated arm that now reaches out and grabs your garbage cans. My photojournalist Matt Butner and I had a hard time keeping up with the trucks, they were so fast. The city says these new trucks can carry more and will cut down on routes and trips back and forth to the transfer station. The city will also go to a four day work week… no longer picking up on Fridays. The changes won’t happen for some time, and they will differ depending on where you live. So, place close attention in November and December to any literature that shows up on your front door from the Department of Public Works. 

Ukrop’s: I know many of you are anxious for updates, but haven’t heard any new buzz lately. As soon as I hear something, I’ll let you know.

Restructuring Planning and Economic Development: Keep close watch this week on Channel 12….. I’ve got a very interesting update coming on this story. Wish I could say more, but I know my competitors read my blog. 🙂


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My 6 Month Blogging Anniversary!

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

So, I’ve had this blog for half a year now. (minus the delay in posting after the November Mayoral Election. I WAS EXHAUSTED!!!) I have to say, it’s nice to see that my readership is steadily increasing and that people in this city actually look to this page as a source for useful information. I find that the blog challenges me too. I’m constantly looking for updates. I feel the pressure for a new post. I don’t want people to get bored or go elsewhere… (not that there are any other local reporters blogging besides my good friend Ryan Nobles.) But I also want to make sure I give you good stuff. 

I have to say, it’s been really nice to have this outlet. I’m not always able to fit every bit of information I would like into a two minute story. I’m also able to give you the fun anecdotes that made a story possible. I really hope you (my faithful readers) enjoy this endeavor because it’s definitely been rewarding. 

As for the news of the day: 

#1 Ukrop’sYou wouldn’t believe how popular my Ukrop’s blogs are. People really do want every little bit of information I can dig up. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been anything new this week. But i’m looking! 

#2 Farmville: What a sad and scary story. Yesterday I had to dig into the suspect’s past and what I found online was just so disturbing. It’s hard not to wonder if there is some sort of link between the lyrics to his songs and what he’s accused of doing. My heart goes out to the families.

#3 RRHA Voucher Program: The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority is in crisis mode right now. The feds are running out of voucher money for a housing assistance program and now the RRHA has had to cut families from the waiting list. Check out my story tonight!


Filed under Blogging, Richmond

Another Sign of a Ukrop’s Sale???

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

Ukrop’s is moving out of Roanoke, Virginia. The grocery chain is closing its only store in that area. The Ivy Market store  has only been open for a little more than two years. Just one more sign that Ukrop’s may be positioning itself for a sale. The Ivy store struggled to catch on in Roanoke. So why not cut your losses and make the deal sweeter for a potential buyer? This is an interesting development.

Here’s the press release:

Ukrop’s to Close Ivy Market Store

 RICHMOND, Va. – Sept. 18, 2009 – Ukrop’s Super Markets, Inc. today announced it will close its Ivy Market store, located at 2331 Franklin Road, Roanoke, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009.

 The First Market Bank branch in this store will remain open until Friday, Dec. 18, 2009.

 “We are making this announcement this afternoon after talking with store leadership about this tough decision,” said Ukrop’s Chairman, President and CEO Bobby Ukrop. “We wish it had worked out differently. It’s painful for many reasons, not the least of which is that we will no longer be able to offer employment to associates who have diligently served Ivy Market customers.

 “We are grateful to the Roanoke Valley customers who have loyally supported us with their business and will do our best during the next five weeks to provide the quality fresh food and superior customer service they have come to expect from Ukrop’s,” added Ukrop.

 About Ukrop’s : Ukrop’s Super Markets, Inc., founded and headquartered in Richmond, Va., with more than 5,500 associates, operates 27 retail food stores (26 after the Roanoke store closing), Joe’s Market (a regional specialty market), a central bakery and kitchen, and a distribution center. Since 1937, the privately held business remains dedicated to its version of the Golden Rule: “treating customers, associates, and suppliers as they personally want to be treated.” Each year, Ukrop’s gives a minimum of 10 percent of its pre-tax profits back to the community. Ukrop’s was a pioneer in both loyalty marketing and meal solutions when it launched its Valued Customer® program in 1987 and its chilled prepared foods in 1989. In 1997, Ukrop’s established a unique partnership to place banks in its retail locations. Today, it co-owns, with Markel Corporation, 25 First Market Bank branches in Ukrop’s locations and 14 free-standing branches.


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Ukrops update #9999

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

I’ve been a little under the weather this week and didn’t spend too much time in the office. But there’s been a lot going on. And I’ve received quite a few emails lately on one topic in particular so here goes….

Ukrop’s Update: Lowes Foods is now the front runner. (Well, that’s what I’m hearing from the GREAT NUMBER of you who’ve sent me anonymous emails.) If anyone can hand me concrete evidence or secret documents that would be even better. Hint Hint! (Say the prospectus floating around from Ukrop’s??? I’d really like a copy of that!) 

As for Lowes? Conspiracy theorists will find this interesting. I’ve called the corporate headquarters on numerous occasions and have not received one call back. EVERY! And I mean EVERY other grocery store chain I’ve called about the Ukrop’s rumors called me back and at least said a flat out no or wouldn’t comment. Lowes has remained, oddly, eerily silent! Keep the emails coming! I’ll check them out!


Filed under Ukrop's, Uncategorized

Ukrop’s in Negotiations With Potential Buyer

Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

*Update Wednesday 12:01pm: Thanks to everyone who is sending me tips on this story. They are helpful. Several of you have given me the names of businesses that may be in negotiations with Ukrop’s. I’m checking on them now and I’ll update you as soon as I get any information. For those of you who are telling me Wegmans, here’s an update I posted a few days ago….. (Update: August 6th 11:30am:)  It’s NOT Wegmans. The Rochester based grocery chain says it is NOT buying Ukrops. I received several emails yesterday suggesting Wegmans was the buyer. Wegmans’ spokesperson Jo Natale says “it is not true. It’s a false rumor.”  Wegmans has 73 stores including in five states including one store in Fredericksburg, VA. 

*Fun Update: Tuesday 4:20pm: Ukrop’s twitter page posted this comment, “People sure do like to talk.”  Interesting….  (cue: dark, ominous music) :End of update!

Whew! Breaking News morning. According to a 50 year old food trade magazine called Supermarket News Harris Teeter is no longer the front runner. I spoke to the reporter who uncovered this story by phone this morning. Jon Springer won’t reveal his sources but he says Harris Teeter was outbid for Ukrop’s by an unnamed private equity group, which is in exclusive negotiations to buy Ukrop’s. He says the economy is playing a big role in the sale, along with competition from other grocers. Ukrop’s remains silent again today and Harris Teeter has declined to comment.  When I learn some more… You’ll be the first to know!


Filed under Ukrop's, Uncategorized


Rachel DePompaRachel DePompa – bio | email 

Update: August 6th 11:30am:  It’s NOT Wegmans. The Rochester based grocery chain says it is NOT buying Ukrops. I recieved several emails yesterday suggesting Wegmans was the buyer. Wegmans’ spokesperson Jo Natale says “it is not true. It’s a false rumor.”  Wegmans has 73 stores including in five states including one store in Fredericksburg, VA. 


Shout out to my twitter folks today who came up with #Ukropalyse. Here’s the latest on the Ukrop’s sale speculation. Since no one is “officially” talking, it’s time to read between the lines…. I trust all my faithful readers out there!

Harris Teeter:

Harrist Teeter’s parent company, The Ruddick Corporation, released its quarterly report this week. The company says its planned distribution center in King George County will likely be delayed. (That’s huge news for the rumor mill because the center fueled A LOT of the speculation that Harris Teeter was the front runner to buy Ukrop’s. This would be Harris Teeter’s first distribution center IN Virginia… giving rise to the company growing in the Commonwealth) The company also said it was exploring other options.  

The quarterly report also mentions Harris Teeter’s expansion plans include Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. (No mention of central Virginia or Richmond.) A local expert says this could be mean several things….

1. Harris Teeter doesn’t have to disclose expansion plans in a quarterly report and may be keeping its cards close to the vest.

2. It no longer has an interest in Ukrop’s.

3. There are other suitors for Ukrop’s out there that we don’t know about.

I caught up with the Ukrop family today at an event in Chesterfield County. CEO Bobby Ukrop declined to comment. His son, Rob said candidly “he’s the wrong guy to ask, but that these (rumors) come up every year.” When I pushed about family’s plans if there was a sale he said simply, “We love Richmond. We’ve always been here and we’ll always be here.”

And there’s your latest rumor-mill roundup!



Filed under Ukrop's, Uncategorized

Richmond Roundup: Ukrop’s, Ukrop’s, Ukrop’s

Style Weekly Photo

Style Weekly Photo

Rachel DePompa – bio | email 

I’ve decided to try something new. Starting today, every Friday I plan to post a round up of the week. Random thoughts, Random events. Let’s see how this goes and how long it lasts….


First, if you’ve come to this blog looking for the latest on the Ukrop’s saga, I don’t have anything new to say. (Other than my blog has had more hits in the last three days than it’s had all year.) I was tempted to just write a blog entry that went something like this…

Ukrop’s is for sale. Ukrop’s has a buyer. Ukrop’s Urkop’s Urkop’s, Harris Teeter, Ukrop’s. Bobby Ukrop’s letter to employees, Ukrop’s speculation. Ukrop’s blog. Ukrop’s is not for sale. Ukrop’s Ukrop’s Ukrop’s  (All of these phrases and 20 more were searched on google just today.) 

No really, there’s nothing new to report. But, believe me, If I can dig anything up on this story YOU WILL KNOW! 

Police Cars: (If I was Style Weekly this would be a -20 score)

Not a good week for Richmond Police cruisers. First, Mayor Dwight Jones changes the police take-home car policy. Officers now have to live in the city to take a car home after hours. But, we learned on Tuesday, city cop cars don’t fair too well in city limits. Just ask the 4th precinct this week. One of its cruisers was set on fire in North Barton Heights.  Someone slammed a brick through the windshield and lit it up.

And then we learned, even new police cars can give the city trouble.  In 2007, the Wilder Administration bought 40 police cars. Sheehy Ford got the contract, but Crossroad’s Ford in Prince George County blew the whistle. Calling out the deal as shady. That dealership’s complaint may have led to a City-wide investigation. Not a good week to have flashing blue and red above your head. 

Cameras in town:

And finally, if you see a lot of camera crews around town this weekend. Don’t be alarmed. There’s a 48 hour film festival with 30 teams trying to make movies. You will see them filming all weekend long. Have a good weekend.



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