When I tell folks the first Ukrop’s grocery store was on Hull Street, they look at me like I am crazy.
But it’s true. Located at 3111 Hull Street, the first Ukrop’s was opened in 1937 and was the beginning of what became a Richmond success story. According to the Chesterfield Observer’s article Before the grocery wars, there was a dominant force – Ukrop’s:
“It all began with Joseph and Jacquelin [Ukrop] on Hull Street. The year was 1937, and according to family lore, it was Joseph’s desire to open a grocery store in Manchester called ‘Joe’s.’ But a store by that name already existed nearby, so Joseph decided to use his surname instead. He dubbed the store Ukrop’s.
That May, the Ukrops opened their first store at 3111 Hull St. Located a mile from the Chesterfield line, many of its customers were factory workers who lived in the county. In July of that year, the Ukrops’ first son, Jim, was born.
‘[I’m] not sure which they thought was the best thing to happen to them that year, but I’m glad they did open the store,” says Jim with a laugh. “I think I started working for the company when I came out of the cradle.'”
Today the old Ukrop’s store doesn’t have the same sparkle it once had, but the old bones remain. For more information, check out the History of Ukrop’s article at the Richmond Times Dispatch.