Where did Ukrop's start?
In 1937, 22-year-old Joe Ukrop and his father opened Ukrop’s Market on Hull Street in south Richmond after mortgaging their family farm. It truly was a family effort. Joe Ukrop, his wife, and his two sons cared for the business, which eventually grew into a chain of 25 locations throughout Central Virginia.
Ukrop's Super Markets became a household name due to their impeccable customer service and a passion for the Richmond community. In fact, Ukrop's was the first chain to have workers walk customers to their cars with their groceries. Seem normal now? It wasn't then! Also, Ukrop's was closed on Sundays to promote having a day to be with your family and with your community. For years they did not carry alcohol to make sure the store was family-friendly and community-oriented. We at RVA to Go always valued Ukrop's dedication to their values even in business and serving the RVA community in their own way.
By the 1970s, business was booming. In 1976, Ukrop's Super Markets purchased Dot's Pastry Shop, a bakery headquartered in Richmond. After this purchase, Ukrop's gave people in the local area wider access to baked goods like cakes, cookies, pies, and more. These delicious treats are still available today and a few can even be bought in RVA to Go boxes.
In 1984, White House Rolls reached the market. People in the area simply could not get enough. In the early 1990s, Ukrop's opened a production facility with a full kitchen and bakery to keep up with the high demand for their prepared meals and treats.
In 2010, the Ukrop's family decided that retail was no longer what the business needed. They decided to sell their retail locations yet keep the Homestyle Foods business intact. The bakery and kitchen still provide over 800 freshly-made meals, sides, desserts, and more to grocery stores throughout the nation. But no one walks you to your car anymore!
Where are they today?
The Ukrop's family decided to leave the retail business due to the competitive nature of the grocery store market. They knew if they expanded their hours and selection of products - for example, by serving alcohol - they would be better competitors; however, they felt retaining their values and traditions was more important than competing nationally.
The Ukrop's family continues to engage in the RVA community and provide people in the local area with freshly-made meals with compassion and they are an RVA staple that we love.
Where can I buy my favorite Ukrop's products?
Kroger! Ukrop's baked goods, including some of our favorites, are there. If you want to give a few Ukrop's staples as a gift, we have three choices in our RVA to Go Box: Rainbow Cookies, Butter Cookies, and White House Rolls. You can add them to your next RVA to Go order. YUM!