Biz Buzz: Henrico company has its portion-controlled dinnerware system in Wegmans

Top Quote The path to good health is often one plate at a time, a concept husband and wife entrepreneurs Ann-Marie Stephens and Ed Stephens had in mind when they launched their Precise Portions line of dinnerware plates, bowls and glasses in 2010. End Quote
  • Hanford-Corcoran, CA (1888PressRelease) July 18, 2018 - The plates are divided into compartments to help diners manage portions, while the bowl and drinking glasses have cup measurements.

    In a major development for the couple’s Henrico County-based Precise Portions LLC, Wegmans grocery store has started carrying some Precise Portions products in all of its stores. The Precise Portions line also is featured in the current issue of the Wegmans Menu magazine that is available at stores and mailed to loyal shoppers.

    “We are making it easier for families live healthier. ... The fact that (Wegmans) could see the value in our product is huge,” Ann-Marie Stephens said.

    Stephens said a Wegmans buyer found the Precise Portions products online and had a company sale representative contact them in April. The Stephenses traveled last spring to Wegmans’ headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., to present the product.

    “They loved the whole line. We were very excited,” said Ann-Marie Stephens, a former executive at the now-defunct Circuit City chain.

    Precise Portions has products designed for children, disposable paper items and portable plastic lunch plates. The most recent addition is the “Store N Go” lunch bag that has a bottom compartment that zips open for storing the line’s 9-inch, lidded plate.

    Wegmans has two stores in the Richmond area: in the West Broad Marketplace shopping center in western Henrico and in the Stonehenge Village shopping center off Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County.

    Precise Portions products are available online at

    Health Warrior seeks funds to restore farms

    Richmond-based Health Warrior, which makes a line of chia seed-based energy bars, has a new flavor coming out, Mexican Chocolate Chia Bar.

    You can be one of the first to try the new flavor by supporting the company’s crowdfunding campaign that is raising money to restore farms of the Tarahumara people of northwestern Mexico.

    Health Warrior’s vision of providing clean food that sustains physically active people was actually inspired by the Tarahumara people, who are known for being extraordinary long-distance runners, explained Shane Emmett, Health Warrior co-founder and CEO.

    “The story of the Tarahumara is ... about living close to the land, being outside. It really is a magical story,” said Emmett, who read about the tribe in the book “Born to Run.”

    As subsistence farmers, the Tarahumara traditionally have relied on the land for food, including seeds of the chia plant. But in recent years, they have faced drought conditions, Emmett said.

    So last year, Health Warrior helped them refurbish a farm — restoring the soil, adding some basic irrigation equipment and equipment for building cisterns.

    “Our goal is to do at least two more farms this year,” Emmett said. “There are thousands of farms there that could use our assistance.”

    The cost to refurbish one farm is $10,000. The Kickstarter campaign, which runs through March 17, is trying to raise $40,000.

    The idea is that once the farms are restored, the Tarahumara will grow chia seed and become a commercial supplier for Health Warrior.

    Details on the campaign are at Search for Health Warrior.

    Ledbury consolidates

    Ledbury upscale men’s shirts and accessories closed a location at 5710 Patterson Ave., shifting those operations to the company’s flagship store at 315 W. Broad St. in downtown Richmond.

    “We knew it was going to be a temporary outpost,” said Paul Trible, Ledbury co-founder and CEO, of the Patterson Avenue location.

    “It didn’t make sense for us to have a flagship store and a smaller outpost” just a few miles away, Trible said.

    The Patterson Avenue location had been home to Creery Custom Shirt Makers, which Ledbury bought in July 2015 and rebranded the shop as Ledbury Creery Workshop. That shop was making custom shirts with the bespoke method, as Creery had done since 1907.

    Ledbury opened the new flagship store in September, relocating form Shockoe Bottom.

    Much of the company’s business is through online sales. Trible said that since the move last September, their in-store sales have jumped.

    Lidl plans store in Hanover

    Another site has been identified in the Richmond area for a Lidl grocery store,

    The German-based chain, which has aggressive expansion plans into the U.S., wants to build a 36,000-square-foot store on 6 acres on Mechanicsville Turnpike just east of Adams Farm Road.

    The store would be built on the site of the Shalom Baptist Church, which would move to Walnut Grove Road.

    The Hanover County Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request on Thursday. The case is slated to go before the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 22.

    Lidl has at least six other locations in the Richmond area identified for stores with at least two of them under construction.

    The company has not made any individual store announcements or set opening dates, but plans are to have the first U.S. stores open no later than 2018.

    Meanwhile, Lidl is holding a hiring event for store managers on Friday and Saturday at the Doubletree by Hilton at 1021 Koger Center Boulevard in Chesterfield. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

    TLSmith ( @ ) timesdispatch dot com

    (804) 649-6572

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