Ukrop’s Super Markets donates $200,000 to nonprofits

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Print this page Paula C. Squires

While people speculate about the future of Ukrop’s Super Markets Inc.,  the Richmond-based grocery store chain is conducting business as usual, donating $200,000 to 1,384 nonprofits in Virginia through its annual Golden Gift program.

Ukrops’s said in a statement that this year’s organizations, which come from its market areas of Richmond, Williamsburg, Fredericksburg and Roanoke, provide services ranging from animal care to hunger relief.  The two nonprofits that will receive the most money are the Richmond SPCA, $5,466; and the Central Virginia Food Bank, $5,209.

According to the company, Ukrop’s has distributed more than $12.4 million to local nonprofits since the program started in 1987. The company says this is one of the ways it honors a pledge to give back at least 10 percent of its pre-tax profits to the communities it serves. “Inviting our customers’ participation by asking them to designate which organization receives a portion of each year’s payout is a rewarding experience for our shoppers, the recipients and for Ukrop’s,” said President and CEO Bobby Ukrop. 

Executives remain mum, however, on the latest report in the supermarket industry trade press that the family-owned grocery store chain is reportedly seeking a buyer. Asked about a report earlier this week that said Ukrop’s is in negotiations with an unnamed private equity group, James E. Ukrop, Bobby’s brother and the company’s former chairman, responded in an e-mail to Virginia Business: “We do not comment on rumors.” Jim, 72, is currently chairman of First Market Bank, which is merging with Union Bank and Trust of Bowling Green.

It was the second time in a month that a report has surfaced on the Web site of the trade press, suggesting that Richmond’s iconic 52-year-old chain is contemplating a sale.  With more than 5,500 employees, Ukrop’s operates 27 retail stores, Joe’s Market (a regional specialty market), a central bakery and kitchen and a distribution center.

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