No sidewalk vending at Martin's, including Girl Scout cookies

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's Girl Scout cookie time, but you won't see local troops setting up tables outside Ukrop's stores like in years past.  It's against the new owner's company policy. 

But another grocer is now stepping up to help.

Door to door sales are common, but Girl Scouts can move a lot more cookies outside grocery stores.

Ukrop's new owner, Martin's, doesn't allow sidewalk vending. When one Brownie Troop got wind of that, it turned to Kroger.

The expression, "when a door closes, a window opens," rings true for Brownie Troop 425.

Last year, they sold the popular cookies outside the Carytown Ukrop's.

"We sold 300 boxes in two hours," said Troop Leader, Amy Gilbody.

Not this year and not by choice.

"We had called Ukrop's in Carytown months back to get on the books and they said we'd have to call back after the sale and we called back last week and were told not allowed solicitations outside the store anymore," said Gilbody.

Martin's, which finalized its purchase of Ukrop's last week, stated it's respecting customer wishes of wanting to shop without being solicited.

"It's little girls they're just trying to sell some cookies I don't see the problem with that," said Richmond resident Lu Akni.

"It's kind of a tradition kind of isn't it," said Richmond resident Valerie Matthews.

This year, Gilbody's Brownies will be selling cookies outside the Kroger on Lombardy near VCU.

She hasn't yet broken the news to her troop.

"I'm sure there's a learning moment in there I need to figure out that teachable moment before I tell them," said Gilbody.

Kroger, which has been flooded with calls from Girl Scouts, also has a no solicitation policy, but a spokesperson says the company leaves it up to each store manager based on what's important to the community.

Gilbody's troop is raising money for a Maymont sleep over.

They ordered 1,500 cookie boxes and sold 900 already.

"That's not just a box of cookies that's a box of opportunity for those girls," said Gilbody.

Her troop will be selling cookies outside the Lombardy Kroger at the beginning of March.

Meantime, Martin's has ordered a 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies which will be donated to the Central Virginia Food Bank.

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