Henrico County VA
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Business in brief


Kitchen Thyme, Richmond’s first commercial kitchen for rent by the hour, recently opened its first location at 7801-25 W. Broad St. Kitchen Thyme is two commercial kitchen spaces under one roof and will be made available to food trucks and carts, caterers, chefs, and farmers’ market vendors and bakers. For the home-based chef, Kitchen Thyme offers a dream kitchen as well as a space to host parties including a full range of top-of-the-line equipment featuring Sub-Zero™ and Wolf™ appliances. Both kitchens are certified under the VDH and VDACS. Cold and frozen storage is also available for rent. Kitchen Thyme’s kitchens will be available for rent 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its front office is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.kitchenthymerva.com .

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The University of Richmond recently was awarded a four-star rating from the Campus Climate Index, a division of Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization promoting LGBT-friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. Campus Pride cited new initiatives, such as the LGBT resource center, in raising the university’s rating from a three-star score in 2010. Richmond received the maximum five-star rating in the areas of support and institutional commitment to LGBT students, their student life and campus safety. For more information on the university’s efforts in promoting awareness, visit http://commonground.richmond.edu/queer-ur/index.html.

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Genworth’s recent acquisition of the hotel adjacent to its headquarters has resulted in Genworth making the largest in-kind donation in company history to the CARITAS Furniture Bank. Genworth purchased not only the former Ramada Richmond West property, which was in the process of foreclosure, but also purchased the hotel’s contents, including furniture and equipment from 372 rooms, conference rooms and banquet center, kitchens and offices. With the help of Hilldrup Moving and Storage, Genworth and CARITAS have moved more than 40 trailer tractor loads of inventory, adding up to more than 55,000 items worth an estimated $1.5 million. Genworth’s partner school in Henrico County, Johnson Elementary School, also received a baby grand piano. The school was without one and the donation will have a huge impact for the music department. Genworth is also making the nearly-empty hotel available to the Henrico Fire Training Academy for training over the next few weeks. Henrico’s special weapons and tactical unit (S.W.A.T) is also scheduled to spend several days training in the hotel. The hotel is scheduled for demolition in the spring.

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Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer recently announced the sale of the former Graphic Packaging Building, located at 4500 Sarellen Rd. Direct Mail Solutions purchased the approximately 130,000 square feet industrial property situated on 7.2 acres from GPI, Inc. for $2.4 million and will move their operations to this facility.

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M&T Bank recently won a total of 14 Greenwich Excellence Awards for Small Business Banking —12 national wins and two regional honors — garnering the most total awards among any of the 750 banks in the nation as rated by businesses with sales of $1 -$10 million in Greenwich Associates’ 2011 Small Business Banking Study. M&T is also the sixth largest Small Business Association lender in the U.S.

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RelayFoods.com recently announced it has closed a $3 million funding round from return investor Battery Ventures and a group of other undisclosed investors bringing the total amount of funding Relay has raised to $5.5 million. RelayFoods.com sells local products and goods from more than 100 unique local merchants, vendors and stores that partner with the company as an alternative distribution channel to expand the availability of their products. Customers choose from among the 20,000 or so local, organic and conventional product offerings online and then pick them up from one of Relay’s sixty convenient locations. For a small fee, Relay will deliver to the customer’s doorstep. Henrico-based merchants selling through RelayFoods.com include Mediterranean Bakery and Café, Good Foods Grocery, Cavanna Pasta, Flour Garden Bakery, European Deli and Bodega Latina. There are eight Henrico County pick-up locations: Monday – Innsbrook, 4470 Cox Rd., and Topeka Steakhouse, 1776 N. Parham Rd.; Tuesday – Richmond Montessori School, 501 N. Parham Rd., and Weinstein JCC, 5403 Monument Ave.; Wednesday – Walgreens, 11300 Nuckols Rd.; Thursday – Innsbrook, 4880 Cox Rd., and University of Richmond, Crenshaw Way; and Friday – Cobb Technologies, 8827 Staples Mill Rd.

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The University of Richmond’s ensemble-in-residence, eighth blackbird, recently captured its second Grammy Award Feb. 12. The group won in the category Best Small Ensemble Performance for a recording of Steven Mackey’s “Lonely Motels – Music from Slide.” The piece also was nominated for a Grammy in the contemporary classical composition category. Based in Chicago, eighth blackbird has been affiliated with Richmond since 2004. In addition to performing on campus at the Modlin Center for the Arts, the six-member group regularly instructs classes, conducts master classes, lectures and coaches music students. The ensemble has scheduled its next Modlin Center performance, “Less is More,” for March 14.

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Henrico native Mary Burton recently debuted her latest novel “BEFORE SHE DIES” on USA Today’s February 9th Best-Selling Books list after just a partial week on sale. Burton’s latest novel of romance, murder and suspense features the return of Charlotte Wellington and Daniel Rakov, who readers met in Burton’s Alexandria-set novels, “Senseless” and “Mericless.” “BEFORE SHE DIES” is currently #131 on the USA Today list, which reflects sales nationally from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4.

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Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer recently promoted Heather M. Long, CAM to director, off campus student and single family housing. Long started her career with Thalhimer in 2000 on-site and came to their Richmond corporate office in 2003 as the residential property management coordinator. In 2005, she was promoted to her current role as portfolio manager for single family housing. Long has her CAM certification and has been a licensed real estate agent since 2004.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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The Joseph Bryan Park Nature Program will highlight birds from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Nature Center. For details and to register, email .(JavaScript must be enabled… Full text

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