Retail/Wholesale: WARREN THOMPSON
FOUNDER, PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN, THOMPSON HOSPITALITY CORP., RESTON
A Black History Month event held in February at Smithfield’s Schoolhouse Museum recognized four prominent Black families of the region. Naturally, that list included the Thompsons.
Patriarch Fred Thompson Sr. dreamed of attending the University of Virginia but was denied admission because of his race. Instead, he graduated from Virginia State University and worked as a teacher, principal and county administrator. His wife, Ruby Thompson, taught for 32 years.
Warren Thompson, one of their three children, later graduated from U.Va.’s business school and served on the university’s board of visitors. Following Thompson’s graduation from U.Va., he worked for Marriott for several years and in 1992 purchased 31 Bob’s Big Boy restaurants. Today, his company is the largest minority-run food and facilities management corporation in the nation.
In addition to running dining services for companies, universities and hospitals, Thompson Hospitality owns numerous restaurant chains, including Milk & Honey and Matchbox. This spring, Thompson Hospitality opened Ralph Sampson’s American Tap Room in Charlottesville in partnership with the U.Va. and NBA basketball star.