I’ve been disappointed in the talk both in conservation and online — people celebrating the loss of yet another Richmond institution. That’s the talk of carpetbaggers and the uneducated.
To them, I say: I-95 North. Take a hike. Move to The Netherlands.
Royal Ahold, Giant-Carlisle, Martin’s Food Market — whatever. No offense, but you ain’t from here. Unless you plan on reinvesting the profits from your new stores here in Central Virginia — then you’re not replacing Ukrop’s. You’ve got to match Ukrop’s civic contributions locally to replace them. If you can’t, then you’re just like Kroger, Food Lion, Wal-Mart, Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s … taking our money out of Richmond, off to whatever city/country you call home.
I’m not upset about the act of shopping and I don’t shop exclusively at Ukrop’s. No one does. I’ll give Martin’s a chance, just like the rest. (Well, not really. No way you’ll find me at Wal-Mart.)
What has me upset is the idea of keeping the cash spent in the store in our region. In our city. In our communities.
Martin’s already got started down the wrong path by denying the Girl Scout troops from selling cookies they already ordered in front of the soon-to-be-renamed stores this spring. Gave the girls the “old wooden shoe to the backside.” Can’t do that.
We need community outreach. Grocery stores are important that way. More than any other kind of retail business.
I’ve worked in news media for 18 years, and there hasn’t been a snow storm yet that someone hasn’t joked about long checkout lines for milk, eggs, bread and toilet paper at Ukrop’s. With all the snow this year, the talk was: “This storm might be the LAST time we get to use that joke.”
The joke doesn’t work if you insert the name of any other store. No other chain is the local institution. Ukrop’s is Very Richmond.
When I was single in the early 1990s, I remember teasing girls that would get dressed up to go to Ukrop’s. Not “prom dress” kind of dressed up, but looking their best. “Man shopping.” Then I realized my guy friends were hip to that game and shopped at Ukrop’s for the female eye candy as much as the rolls.
That primping wouldn’t happen for a trip to your neighborhood Food Lion.
I don’t blame the Ukrop’s family for selling. They started the store here in 1937 and kept it going for three-quarters of a century. I’ll bet this arrangement and new venture will work out financially. Ukrop’s Bakery (White House rolls and rainbow cookies) will do well, and they’ll be able to run the smaller business better. Too bad the next generation of Ukrop’s couldn’t/wouldn’t take on the family grocery empire, but that’s their business and not ours.
Our city is dying. The tarnish is off the crown. I’m just starting to realize this.
When all the big banks based in Richmond were bought out by North Carolina and Georgia banks, did that make Richmond better? No. Losing quality companies headquartered in your city never helps — especially ones that are civic-minded and philanthropic.
When the economy went south and we lost Qimonda, Land America and Circuit City, et al, did that make Richmond better? No. Losing Fortune 500 companies and large employers never helps.
Sports teams leave or spurn Richmond with regularity. I just hope we don’t lose outdoor events like the Richmond Marathon, 10K, Dominion Riverrock (the renamed Adventure Games), etc. At least the mighty James river can’t bolt town.
The people who complain about Ukrop’s are probably the same non-Richmonders that complain that there is nothing to do in this town.
We’ve got plenty of great events in Richmond. Summer concert series and festivals almost every weekend, especially when it’s warm. Carytown. The Fan. Shockoe Bottom. Restaurants. Historic sites. Museums. Battlefields. Parks. The Rivah. You just need to get off the couch and drop a dime in the bucket now and then. Don’t like it? Move to The Netherlands.
Big events come a little cheaper when corporate sponsors (like Ukrop’s) foot some of the bill.
Ukrop’s sponsors so many Richmond events, like the Monument Avenue 10K, the Easter and Christmas parades and the Richmond Folk Festival. Ukrop’s brought us the Richmond Kickers and has propped up the (very successful) soccer club for years.
Don’t like those events? You must be tough to please. I-95 North.
We won’t likely find a company that is so out-going and generous in its promotional efforts to replace Ukrop’s. At least not one singular entity.
Oh, so you’re one of those people who’s always hated that Ukrop’s doesn’t sell alcohol and isn’t open on Sundays? You’ve had your choice to shop elsewhere…or move back to where you came from. Now Martin’s will offer those checklist items from the get-go.
Or maybe you’re one of those that likes to cry about Ukrop’s being so expensive? Largely rumor and perception. You just don’t know how to shop.
My favorite thing about Ukrop’s is “local” — they have deals with farmers in this region and sell me the most produce they can provide that is grown in Virginia soil. No offense to California, Florida, Guatemala and South America. Off season? Great! Thanks for the freshies. Martin’s needs to maintain that level of commitment to local farmers and our state.
On second thought, that’s not going to be a problem with Martin’s. Like many conscious Richmonders, I’ve already converted to buying most of my in-season produce at farmer’s markets anyway.
People that fuss about Ukrop’s high prices are probably the same people who would never buy meat at Food Lion “because it’s tainted” and never buy produce at Kroger because it is inferior. There’s little basis for those perceptions I’ve always heard attached to those franchises, but that’s what people say.
Do you think your dollars spent at Wal-Mart stay in Richmond? Heck, they hardly provide health care for their employees… Oh, there I go with nasty rumors!
I’ve never followed the theory that any store is more expensive than the next. If you shop correctly, using discounts at the right times and paying attention, any store can be affordable.
No, you’re one of those that has held a grudge against Ukrop’s for allegedly being behind Howard Stern getting kicked off Richmond’s radio waves. After being in media for half my life, let me just say that example wouldn’t be the only time in history that advertisers have influenced decisions in our business. Don’t like that one? Take a hike.
You’re just mad because you know about this one. Ukrop’s had the guts to make a stand and put their name to it. And it worked. Because they matter.
No, it’s the worst of all. You’re one of those that faults Ukrop’s for one of their most basic customer service traits: Carting your groceries out to your car for you.
I’m fit and capable of toting my own groceries. But, I’m a parent. I’ve got two little kids that need to be controled in a parking lot. When they were babies in carseats, that was another task. I needed the help, and I’m not alone. It is a business choice, and good for them.
Now that we’ve lost Ukrop’s, what will be the next jewel to fall from the crown for Richmond? We’re now down to being a Double-A baseball town that can’t keep its sports teams in the black. At least we have colleges with great reputations — academically and sportingly.
Goodbye Ukrop’s. Unquestionably Very Richmond. I’ve enjoyed you making Richmond a better place.