30 added to oldest businesses list

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Sands Anderson now tops the oldest businesses list, but companies are still being added.

There’s a new oldest business in Richmond – at least for now.

About 30 more companies 40 years or older have been added to Workshop Digital’s work-in-progress list of the oldest for-profit businesses in metro Richmond.

And there’s a new company at the top of the list since it was first publicized last week: downtown law firm Sands Anderson, which – founded in 1842 as Sands & Sands – has eight more years than previous list-toppers Billups Funeral Home and the Richmond Daily Dispatch, a predecessor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The additions were made in response to as many as 60 inquiries Workshop Digital received since the agency unveiled its list on Richmond BizSense. The list was compiled at the request of local auto dealer Whitten Bros., which is preparing to celebrate its centennial in four years.

Within hours of last week’s story about the list, dozens of responses poured in from local companies and readers pointing out potential omissions. Some were glaring, such as legal giant Williams Mullen (1909), while others added new industries to the mix, such as sporting goods store Disco Sports (1970).

To make the cut, businesses have to meet certain criteria the agency set to keep the list from getting too long. They must be for-profit, at least 40 years old, started in Richmond and still doing what they’ve always done, and they must list “Richmond” in their company address.

Thirty more businesses have joined the list since last week's story.

Thirty more businesses have joined the list since last week’s story.

That address stipulation cuts several areas of metro Richmond out of contention, as well as significant employment centers such as Innsbrook, which is located in Glen Allen. Katie Wolitarsky with Workshop Digital said such lines needed to be drawn somewhere to keep the list manageable, adding that the criteria could be revised as the list continues to evolve.

“In building it, we want it to be an ongoing conversation,” Wolitarsky said, noting the digital agency’s research has been primarily online. “I’m sure there are more out there that haven’t even seen it and don’t have websites and may never be included on it. It’s a work in progress.”

Notable additions include restaurants such as O’Toole’s (1966) and Sam Miller’s (1973); O.K. Foundry, founded in 1912; and communications firm Hello Inc., which dates back to 1923.

Sands Anderson, which is one year shy of celebrating its 175th anniversary, is one of six law firms on the list. Senior attorney Doug Rucker, who noted he lives a block from Billups Funeral Home in Church Hill, attributed the law firm’s longevity to teamwork, adaptability and a resistance to suggestions to grow the firm’s size – currently 50 attorneys and about 70 support staff.

“We’ve not agreed with the consultants that say that you need to grow, grow, grow to serve your clients well,” Rucker said. “Technology has helped us be on the same playing field as anyone we come up against.

“We like each other. That’s important,” he said. “We see what we do as a profession, not just a business, and I think our clients see that and appreciate that. And over the years, we’ve been adaptable. The practice of law has changed in many ways, including what types of laws are being practiced.”

Noting Richmond’s legal history dating back to John Marshall, Rucker said of the recognition: “I think it says a lot about the competency of this law firm over the years…particularly being an old firm that’s been around a long time, in this particular city with that history.”

Wolitarsky said the list would continue to be updated periodically, and she encouraged anyone who knows of other businesses that meet the criteria to reach out to the agency.

“We want to keep adding to it,” she said. “There’s nothing else like this out there, so we want to keep it going.”

The updated list can be viewed on this page on the Whitten Bros. website.

Sands-Anderson-Logo

Sands Anderson now tops the oldest businesses list, but companies are still being added.

There’s a new oldest business in Richmond – at least for now.

About 30 more companies 40 years or older have been added to Workshop Digital’s work-in-progress list of the oldest for-profit businesses in metro Richmond.

And there’s a new company at the top of the list since it was first publicized last week: downtown law firm Sands Anderson, which – founded in 1842 as Sands & Sands – has eight more years than previous list-toppers Billups Funeral Home and the Richmond Daily Dispatch, a predecessor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The additions were made in response to as many as 60 inquiries Workshop Digital received since the agency unveiled its list on Richmond BizSense. The list was compiled at the request of local auto dealer Whitten Bros., which is preparing to celebrate its centennial in four years.

Within hours of last week’s story about the list, dozens of responses poured in from local companies and readers pointing out potential omissions. Some were glaring, such as legal giant Williams Mullen (1909), while others added new industries to the mix, such as sporting goods store Disco Sports (1970).

To make the cut, businesses have to meet certain criteria the agency set to keep the list from getting too long. They must be for-profit, at least 40 years old, started in Richmond and still doing what they’ve always done, and they must list “Richmond” in their company address.

Thirty more businesses have joined the list since last week's story.

Thirty more businesses have joined the list since last week’s story.

That address stipulation cuts several areas of metro Richmond out of contention, as well as significant employment centers such as Innsbrook, which is located in Glen Allen. Katie Wolitarsky with Workshop Digital said such lines needed to be drawn somewhere to keep the list manageable, adding that the criteria could be revised as the list continues to evolve.

“In building it, we want it to be an ongoing conversation,” Wolitarsky said, noting the digital agency’s research has been primarily online. “I’m sure there are more out there that haven’t even seen it and don’t have websites and may never be included on it. It’s a work in progress.”

Notable additions include restaurants such as O’Toole’s (1966) and Sam Miller’s (1973); O.K. Foundry, founded in 1912; and communications firm Hello Inc., which dates back to 1923.

Sands Anderson, which is one year shy of celebrating its 175th anniversary, is one of six law firms on the list. Senior attorney Doug Rucker, who noted he lives a block from Billups Funeral Home in Church Hill, attributed the law firm’s longevity to teamwork, adaptability and a resistance to suggestions to grow the firm’s size – currently 50 attorneys and about 70 support staff.

“We’ve not agreed with the consultants that say that you need to grow, grow, grow to serve your clients well,” Rucker said. “Technology has helped us be on the same playing field as anyone we come up against.

“We like each other. That’s important,” he said. “We see what we do as a profession, not just a business, and I think our clients see that and appreciate that. And over the years, we’ve been adaptable. The practice of law has changed in many ways, including what types of laws are being practiced.”

Noting Richmond’s legal history dating back to John Marshall, Rucker said of the recognition: “I think it says a lot about the competency of this law firm over the years…particularly being an old firm that’s been around a long time, in this particular city with that history.”

Wolitarsky said the list would continue to be updated periodically, and she encouraged anyone who knows of other businesses that meet the criteria to reach out to the agency.

“We want to keep adding to it,” she said. “There’s nothing else like this out there, so we want to keep it going.”

The updated list can be viewed on this page on the Whitten Bros. website.

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john massad
john massad
6 years ago

JMJ Corporation was founded in 1960 operating the Massad Hotel which is still open today, 56 years later. In 1980 the family started a commercial office furniture which is now the oldest office furniture dealer in Richmond

Jack williams
Jack williams
6 years ago

I have not read the list, but if Amerigas is not listed, perhaps it should as the successor (via Aaquisition) to what began as Gas Corp of Va in 1941).

Jack Williams
804-347-4435

Parker Garrett
Parker Garrett
6 years ago

The Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia is a member owned insurance company founded in 1794. It’s address is in Richmond. I don’t know if it meets all of the wickets, but it maybe worth looking into.

Corbin P Ensign
Corbin P Ensign
6 years ago

VAMAC Inc. has been in business for 101 years started June 15, 1915. Plumbing Wholesale Distribution Company.

Kyle Dennis
Kyle Dennis
6 years ago

I work for a manufacturing company founded in 1976

http://www.hudsonindustries.com/about-us/

Martha Looney
Martha Looney
6 years ago

New York Deli was founded in 1926. It has continuously operated in its current location since 1934. This make it the longest running restaurant in Richmond yes?

Bryan Brodie
Bryan Brodie
6 years ago

Chiocca’s in the museum district has been in business for 55 years and was voted “best sandwiches in RVA” in the latest Style Weekly Best Of Richmond poll…

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
6 years ago

Harrison&Bates, 107 years old and still ticking! We’ve rebranded the brokerage side to Colliers International, but we’re still branded under the traditional name for commercial property management as well as our company registration for state corporate matters.

Adam Carpenter
Adam Carpenter
6 years ago

Spotless Window Cleaning Company was founded in 1962. 54 years and counting.

http://www.SpotlessWindowCleaning.com
5321 Distributor Drive
Richmond, VA 23225

Sam Stone
Sam Stone
6 years ago

Stone’s Office Equipment opened its doors in 1970 in Scott’s Addition, moved to Broad Street near Libbie in the 1980’s and still family owned.