TASTE to Relocate Corporate Headquarters to Virginia Beach

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TASTE, Virginia's leading family owned specialty food retailer, will relocate its corporate headquarters to Virginia Beach. The company, originally founded as a single wine and cheese shop in 1973, has grown to seven locations throughout the Hampton Roads region. 

The company purchased 1391 Air Rail Ave. in Virginia Beach for its new corporate headquarters, which is scheduled to open by November 2016. The building comprises 27,766 square feet of light industrial space that will be used for the corporate headquarter offices, catering kitchen and warehouse. 

The new location will support the seven existing TASTE locations at Bayville Farms, Hilltop and the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Greenbrier in Chesapeake, City Center in Newport News, Harbour View in Suffolk and Larchmont in Norfolk where the company also operates Borjo Coffeehouse in the Old Dominion University Village.  New TASTE locations are planned for 21st Street in Norfolk in the spring of 2017 and at Libbie & Grove in Richmond in the spring of 2018. 

"TASTE is an iconic business in the region, and we are proud to be home to its new corporate headquarters," said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. "This business, which has been around for decades, has been reimagined by the Pruden family, and now is an example of a stellar brand with consistently fresh and innovative products." 

TASTE President Jon Pruden added, "Peter Coe founded our company in Virginia Beach in 1973, so this really feels like coming home again. The new headquarters location offers us much needed room for growth and a location that is central to our existing footprint.  We're excited about all the opportunities this brings for our business and employees. We are also very appreciative of the support we received from Sezin Cortinas with Divaris Real Estate and Michelle Chapleau with Virginia Beach Economic Development."

A locals' favorite, TASTE is part specialty foods market and part upscale café that offers made-to-order salads, sandwiches and soups; small batch, from scratch housemade prepared and packaged foods; boutique wines and craft beers; distinctive specialty food and gift items; culinary events; and catering.  The TASTE family of businesses has grown to include the TASTE online marketplace as well as Norfolk's Borjo Coffeehouse. TASTE's mission is to Cultivate Community through a Taste of the Good Life, with an unmatched guest experience offered in authentically local spaces that serve as community gathering spots to inspire the good life every day. 

The relocation of TASTE's corporate offices, catering kitchen, warehouse and e-commerce functions will bring approximately 40 jobs to the City of Virginia Beach, at least eight of which will be new, including company executives and a highly trained culinary staff with approximately $1.25 million plus payroll. 

The Virginia Beach Development Authority has approved an Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $85,000 based on the company's capital investment of $4.1 million that includes real estate, improvements and business property. 

The capital investment will allow TASTE the infrastructure and capacity to embark on a seven-year growth plan that includes nearly doubling the number of existing store locations, including two more stores in Virginia Beach, doubling company revenues and increasing the company's total number of employees to nearly 500.

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2016 and is one of only 29 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. CNNMoney.com ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.

# # #