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Ukrop's Sees Roanoke Valley as Ripe for Growing Its Business

RICHMOND, Va. - Ukrop's Super Markets, Inc. said Friday that it will introduce its service-oriented, state-of-the-art supermarket concept to Roanoke, Va., in the fall of 2005.

The Richmond, Va.-based regional retailer, which operates more than 20 stores on its home turf and has expanded to neighboring cities Williamsburg and Fredericksburg in recent years, plans to open a 58,000-square-foot store in Ivy Market, located at the corner of Franklin and Wonju in Roanoke, next fall.

The store will include Ukrop's traditional grocery products, as well as chilled prepared foods from Ukrop's Kitchen, in-store gourmet specialties, and its nutritious line of foods, Delicious by Design. The store will also include a full-service branch of First Market Bank.

"My brother and I are involved in economic development in this region, and we heard about the need for a specialty market near downtown Roanoke," Robert S. "Bobby" Ukrop, president and c.e.o., told Progressive Grocer. "Roanoke's population is 285,000, and there are 60 colleges and universities in the area, so the customer base includes well-traveled, sophisticated shoppers. We think it's a great fit for Ukrop's prepared foods and diverse product offerings."

Bobby Ukrop noted that while Roanoke is three hours away from its headquarters, the company is prepared to handle the logistics of transporting fresh goods, as it has done in Fredericksburg and Williamsburg.

The store will feature Ukrop's Bakery, with signature products such as White House Rolls, decorated cakes for special occasions, and chocolate fudge, lemon chess, and pecan pies. Additionally, all new Ukrop's stores feature restaurants with upstairs and downstairs seating for more than 150, the company noted in a statement. "Our cafes and grills have become a destination for business people at lunch as well as for families to enjoy dining together," said Ukrop.

Ukrop also told Progressive Grocer that the company is planning to build a second store in Williamsburg in the spring of 2006.

-- Jenny McTaggart
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