We’ve been supporting Virginia businesses for over a century. Fact is, you were once able to do your banking at First Market Bank (now known as Atlantic Union Bank) in Ukrop’s markets in the Richmond area. Ukrop’s bank? Bobby Ukrop, CEO of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, explains the long relationship between his family’s company and Atlantic Union Bank in an excerpt from the PBS series “Made in Virginia.”
In 1997, our family came together with National Commerce Financial out of Memphis, Tennessee in a 50/50 partnership in banking. And we had bank branches in 80% of our stores. so there are probably 23, at the time, First Market Bank branches in our stores. And so we were 50/50 owners in this business. The bank really grew to $1 billion in assets over the years.
But it was a team. The people in the bank actually bagged groceries and took them out to peoples cars during the holiday season. Sometimes they would have somebody wanting to get CD as a result of taking groceries out.
They were developing a relationship. And so we found the relationship we had, the partnership, with at the time First Market Bank was great way for both of our companies to build business. We did joint marketing. And it's interesting, until 2010, when Union really took over First Market Bank.
We still have a relationship with them. We bank with them, and we're actually working on some joint marketing with Union as well. We feel really good about what Union's done throughout the state. The fact that we had a part of that, back a number of years ago, it brings joy to my heart thinking about how much fun we had working together with them to build programs.
The fact that we were involved in it, again, that was a customer service play, if you will. That's what banking was about, customer service, and that's what both of our teams were good at.
And now Union is continuing to thrive. We're happy that they loan us money, we have money invested with them, and we're just very blessed that the efforts they've made in the community, to continue to grow and serve the community, really throughout Virginia.