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Retail Merchants names Retailer of the Year

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The owner of a Richmond grocery store has been named Retailer of the Year by Retail Merchants, an advocacy group for retailers in the Richmond area.

Rick Hood, owner of Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, was given the award Dec. 7 at a ceremony held at The Westin Richmond in Henrico County.

The award ceremony dates back more than 50 years. It has honored some of the legendary retailers including Thalhimer’s, Miller & Rhoads and Ukrop’s. There were 17 nominees for this year’s award.

Retail Merchants said that, since opening in 1989, Ellwood Thompson’s has grown in size and community involvement. The store was originally envisioned as a market where people could buy local, organic products.

Today, the store includes a meat and seafood department, in-house bakery, coffee and juice bar, a food station and event space. Earlier this year, Ellwood Thompson’s also opened a café in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art.

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