Businesses Celebrate Milestones
Virginia businesses L.D. Amory & Company and Graham & Rollins celebrate milestones
Two seafood businesses located in Hampton, Virginia are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2017.
Founded in 1917, L.D. Amory & Company reached its 100 anniversary this year, while Graham & Rollins marked 75 years in business.
“It’s an honor to still be standing here 100 years later,” L.D. Amory & Company owner Meade Amory said. “We credit the loyalty and support of our employees, clients, vendors, suppliers and partners.”
L.D. Amory & Company has expanded over the years, and its business now includes buying, processing, selling of wholesale fish, the operation of a fleet of seafood trucking vehicles, and the ownership and operation of fishing trawlers and permits.
Amory, the fourth generation of his family to own and run the business, said there have been challenges along the way, starting with the Great Depression. In 2003, a hurricane demolished the firm’s office building and the company’s building also suffered severe damage from a tornado in June 2012. Earlier this year, a fire badly damaged the company’s warehouse.
“As a company [that] has been through some challenges, Amory’s is walking through this fire too,” Amory said. “[We] anticipate the warehouse being fully functional again by this summer.”
Graham & Rollins was founded in 1942 as a crab processing company, and today, the company is known for its hand-picked crab and processed value-added crab products particularly its signature premium crab cakes and crab dip products. The company also owns and operates a crab plant in Newport News, Virginia.
Despite numerous challenges that have constricted local crabbing businesses, including falling local crab supply, unpredictable pricing and cheaper Asian crab meat saturating the market, the company has survived, and by 2012, it had become the last standing crab house in Hampton, which was formerly known by the nickname “Crabtown,” and was one of six remaining crab houses in Virginia, which once had 170.
“There have been years where we thought ‘This is it’…and then somehow, we’ve gotten through it,” Johnny Graham, the fourth generation owner of Graham & Rollins, said.
The company has thrived through a partnership with QVC, the home shopping television channel. In 2015, it won QVC’s Best Seafood Contest and it has been named “Customer Top Rated” by QVC customers several times. Graham & Rollins has also been awarded “Best Of” Coastal Virginia awards five times for both its market and restaurant.
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