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Local food tour company pivots to offer curated boxes of local food and beverages during shutdown

Local food tour company River City Food Tours is pivoting to offer curated Discover Richmond Box this week. Called the Discover Richmond Box, the offering is a non-subscription, weekly collection of items from Richmond’s favorite food makers, delivered to Richmonders’ front door. Each week’s box features a mix of food vendors, including a variety of savory, sweet, and hearty items, as well as a bag of coffee or tea.

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Local food tour company River City Food Tours is pivoting to offer curated Discover Richmond Box this week. Called the Discover Richmond Box, the offering is a non-subscription, weekly collection of items from Richmond’s favorite food makers, delivered to Richmonders’ front door. Each week’s box features a mix of food vendors, including a variety of savory, sweet, and hearty items, as well as a bag of coffee or tea.

Owners say the Discover Richmond Boxes help support small food businesses in and around Richmond, allowing them to provide work and help pay operating expenses, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. River City Food Tours purchases all of the products from participating food partners.

“River City Food Tours truly understands the devastation this crisis has caused small businesses,” said founder Brian Beard. “We dropped to zero sales basically overnight. This Discover Richmond Box is not only a great way for us to revamp our business model during this pandemic, but we’re also able to continue to support many other small businesses every week.”

Partners include, but are not limited to, Bombolini Pasta, Truckle Cheesemongers, Reginald’s Homemade, Riverbend Coffee Co., and Chocolates by Kelly. While boxes currently contain only shelf-stable goods, an expansion plan to include cold and frozen items, as well as produce, is in the works.

“We’re excited to be able to offer a little bit of everything in these boxes,” Beard added. “We’ve all got to eat, but we also need to indulge every once in a while, and these boxes let you do both.”

A limited quantity of boxes are available each week; this week there are only 40 for sale. Sales go live each Sunday at noon on River City Food Tours’ website, and close Friday at 5 pm. Boxes are then organized and delivered to customers’ front doors on Sundays between 10 am and 2 pm. Discover Richmond Boxes are currently only available for delivery, but pickup options will become available in the near future, Beard says.

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New Ginter Park apartment community sells to local buyer for almost double assessed value

The Canopy at Ginter Park apartments, which sold for $83 million, was recently assessed by the City of Richmond at a value of $45 million.

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From Richmond BizSense:

In their second such deal in as many years, a local real estate firm has picked up a Tennessee-based builder’s latest apartment development in the Richmond market.

Bristol Development Group sold its 301-unit Canopy at Ginter Park apartments for $83.75 million to Capital Square, the Innsbrook-based firm that just over a year ago bought Bristol’s 2000 West Creek apartments in Goochland County.

The Canopy sale closed Dec. 30, with Colliers’ Mid-Atlantic Multifamily Advisory Group brokering the deal. The sale price amounts to $278,239 per door, and represents a nearly $29 million windfall for Bristol, which finished the complex last spring at a cost of $55 million.

The latest city assessment valued the 15-acre property, at Brook Road and Westwood Avenue in Richmond’s Northside, at $45.6 million.

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Veteran baker to open brick and mortar bakery operation in Lakeside

Up All Night Bakery, a new brick and mortar for 20-year baking veteran Jonathan Highfield, will take over the former Pulp RVA space at 5411 Lakeside Avenue.

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From Richmond BizSense:

Jonathan Highfield has kneaded dough for about 20 years, both in the employment of and instruction of others. This year, he’s baking a venture entirely of his own creation.

He recently signed a lease on 5411 Lakeside Ave., where he plans to open a production facility for his Up All Night Bakery by March.

Up All Night was launched as a part-time gig in late 2019, making croissants, breads, cookies and other baked goods that are sold at farmers markets and to a few wholesale customers around town.

Highfield currently bakes in the kitchen of the Early Bird Biscuit Co.’s Bellevue Avenue location during the business’s off-hours. He said he decided to move Up All Night elsewhere because he had outgrown the Early Bird space.

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Family of local freight and transportation company makes $2 million donation to children’s hospital construction project

The Children’s Hospital Foundation’s matching campaign effectively will double the gift to $4 million.

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A local freight and transportation provider has made a major gift towards the construction of the forthcoming Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU expansion. In addition to the company’s gift of $150,000, Estes family members committed $1.85 million to support the Wonder Tower, the new home for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s inpatient, emergency, and trauma services.

The two donations from Estes Express Lines and the Estes family were matched by the Children’s Hospital Foundation, maximizing the total investment in the Wonder Tower to $4 million. As part of the capital campaign to raise $100 million, the foundation is matching the first $25 million in gifts from the community.

“The support of Estes Express Lines and the Estes family is extremely meaningful. We’re grateful they’ve added their voice and support to our mission to build a world-class pediatric hospital in Richmond,” said Lauren Moore, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital Foundation. “They’re truly a values-focused company and family, and their gifts reflect the importance they place on protecting children and their childhoods.”

“We are a family-owned business that’s had the honor of working with thousands of Richmond-area families for nearly 90 years,” said Rob Estes, president and CEO of Estes Express Lines. “Children deserve the best possible medical care when they need it, and we’re proud to support Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, as a company, and as a family.”

As part of the donation, some areas of the Wonder Tower will be named in honor of Estes, including the hospital’s loading dock, a nod to their work as a freight carrier business. The gift includes additional recognition of the family’s generosity throughout the building.

Once complete in spring 2023, the Wonder Tower will bring world-class pediatric facilities to Central Virginia. Located in downtown Richmond, the 16-story tower will be home to CHoR’s Level 1 pediatric trauma center, emergency room, inpatient units, new operating rooms, increased imaging capacity, and family amenities — all in an environment created just for kids and their loved ones.

“The children’s tower is being built for and by our community thanks to generous friends like the Estes,” said Elias Neujahr, CEO of CHoR. “It will be a beacon of hope for kids and families across the Commonwealth while helping us attract and retain top talent so our children have access to be the best care, close to home.”

In 2021, Estes Express Lines will celebrate its 90th anniversary as CHoR finishes its centennial year. “Let’s all come together to support the Wonder Tower, a special place where all families and children can receive exceptional pediatric care, right here in Richmond,” said Estes.

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