Sandwich-maker Greencore, Riverside theater win Stafford business awards

By LINDLEY ESTES THE FREE LANCE–STAR - May 19, 2017

If you’ve ever eaten a sandwich from your local 7–Eleven, chances are you’ve tried the products of Stafford County’s business of the year.

Greencore LLC won the award for 2017, which was presented at Stafford County’s business appreciation reception Thursday afternoon.

The Irish-based company manufactures convenience store and vending machine sandwiches and has more than 400 employees in Stafford, according to Howard Owen, who presented the award for the county’s Economic Development Authority. He also noted Greencore’s commitment to buying Virginia-grown ingredients.

“Stafford County wants to work with you,” said Kent Zech, who manages the local Greencore plant. “We grew from a $12 million-a-year business to an $80 million-per-year business because of Stafford County.”

The Stafford County Cornerstone Business award was given to Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, which recently celebrated 20 years and set attendance records last year with 50,000 guests.

“For a theater to stay in existence for 20 years is extraordinary,” said Patrick A'Hearn, producing artistic director. “We want to be around for another 40, if not more.”

The Stafford County Stewardship Award was given to retiring House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford, for his service in the Virginia legislature. The award was presented by Don Newlin, who said Howell dutifully served his constituents for more than 30 years.

A Stafford EDA Centennial Award was also presented to the Marine Corps Base Quantico, commemorating its 100 years in Stafford. The award was accepted by base commander Col. Joseph Murray, who also gave the keynote speech.

Murray said the event’s theme of “innovation, progress, tradition” is appropriate as Quantico looks to the next century in Stafford and remembers the innovation and collaboration of its first century.