The Stone Brewing Company is getting ready to build their first Eastern U.S. brewery in Richmond.
The Stone Brewing Company is getting ready to build their first Eastern U.S. brewery in Richmond. The California-based company held a vendor outreach session back in june in the East End’s Powhatan Community Center, and a mess of folks from around the Commonwealth came out to see how to get their companies feet in the door.
“Stone Brewing Company is committed to doing their contracting as locally as possible,” said Stone’s local and Community Relations Manager Juliellen Sarver. “So this is the first of several events like this for job seekers and venders, that Stone will be holding so they can get information from local suppliers and vendors.”
The vendor outreach session aimed to hear from Richmond business owners and representatives about a huge variety of services from security to water reclamation and solar panels.
Estephen Alton Alexander is with the Highland Springs based O.M.D. Investigations and Security Services. He appreciated the opportunity to network with other local businesses. “I think it’s a good thing for the simple reason that sometimes everyone is not always plugged into the network, so you have to have different events like this.”
Katarina Pace from Joyner Fine Properties agreed. “I think it gives everybody a chance to get in front of each other,” she said. “A lot of doing business is whether or not you click and connect with the person you’re doing business with, and so I’ve really enjoyed meeting everyone here today.”
The emphasis on local contracting is vital to the communities that host these large companies.
“Richmond has to grow,” Alexander said. “So you have to keep the money in the neighborhoods and bring it into the area in order for all of us to grow.”
The brewery and packaging hall will be located in the greater Fulton neighborhood and is expected to be producing beer by next summer. The second phase of the facility will be a destination World Bistro & Gardens farm-to-table restaurant run by the company.
Richmond provided the perfect location for the new brewery, Sarver said.
“The community supports [Stone’s] presence here,” she said, and “the very vibrant brewing scene that Richmond already has” made it an excellent destination.
Stone Brewing specializes in locally grown, small-farm ingredients and advocates for environmental responsibility. The project plans for the facility propose solar roofing and a beer garden with reforestation efforts and bio-retention plantings.
The City hopes the new brewery will help the revitalization of the Greater Fulton area. Construction started in May and Stone is providing a construction feed for anyone who wants to monitor the progress of the project.
Local officials said many cities along the East Coast competed for Stone because of the impact the large brewery could make.
Stone will be “creating a positive impact for the City by generating new tax revenues and creating nearly 300 jobs,” said Lee Downey, Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Richmond. “We are a city of creativity, partnership and community; all aspects that Stone embraces.”
“I think it’s an excellent way to get community work for a business that’s coming into the area,” Pace said. “I personally am just a big advocate of supporting small businesses because I think it really helps the economy.”