K-VA-T Food City distribution

Located midway between the northern and southern U.S., Washington County has interstate access to 40% of the U.S. population within a day’s drive. In addition to its convenient and efficient highway system, the region is connected by rail, air, and sea. Learn more

Business Advantages

Washington County VA map

Located midway between the northern and southern U.S., Washington County’s location, convenient interstate access, and abundant, hardworking labor force make it a popular choice for distribution centers. Forty percent of the U.S. population is located within a day’s drive of the County. Employers enjoy many competitive benefits, including lower-than-average wages and a business-friendly climate.

K-VA-T Food City distribution center




Washington County is one of only a handful of Virginia counties that do not levy a Business License Tax (BPOL) or a Merchant’s Capital Tax.

Business License Tax is a local option tax on the privilege of doing business within a locality. It is based on “gross receipts” for retailers, mail order, wholesalers, financial services and business services.

Merchant’s Capital Tax is a tax on merchandise for sale, including inventory of stock on hand, certain daily rental passenger cars and certain daily rental property.

Food City headquarters Abingdon VA

Washington County employs over 1,300 in the distribution sector. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013).

The average wage for transportation and material moving occupations is $15.21, which is 11% lower than U.S. average wages for these occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015).

K-VA-T/Food City, owner of about 105 supermarkets, has both its headquarters and a distribution center in Abingdon. The company took advantage of a brownfield opportunity, tearing down an old hospital to build their corporate headquarters.

Transportation & Logistics

Blue Ridge Beverage distribution center

Located midway between the northern and southern U.S., Washington County has convenient interstate access to 40% of the U.S. population within a day’s drive. 

Washington County has access to I-81 (north-south highway running from Tennessee to New York). I-81 intersects with:

– I-26 within 30 minutes
– I-77 within 1 hour
– I-40 within 1.5 hours
– I-75 within 2 hours
– I-85 within 3 hours

Who's Here?

Key Washington County Employers

Food City Distribution CenterGrocery Distribution600-699
Dutt & Wagner of VirginiaEgg and Food Product Distribution100-199
Universal CompaniesSpa Product Distribution100-199
Blue Ridge BeverageBeverage Distribution50-99
K-VA-T Food City manager

K-VA-T/Food City employs over 600 people Washington County. In 2016, the company ranked #35 on Progressive Grocer’s list of “Super 50” retailers. Buddy Honaker, distribution center manager, attributes the company’s success to the people who work there. Honaker cites a number of other benefits of being located in Washington County, including the region’s history and the many events held in the Tri-Cities area.


Distribution centers have access to an abundant supply of workers in the Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol TN-VA MSA. Listed below are occupations that are relevant to the distribution industry and the amount of current employees within each. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015)

– Heavy and Tractor Trailer Truck Drivers – 1,800 Employees
– Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers, Hand – 1,600 Employees
– Packers and Packagers, Hand – 870 Employees
– Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators – 360 Employees


Wages in the region are lower than the averages for comparable markets and for the U.S. as a whole, providing employers with a great value.

Comparative Wages for Distribution Occupations

OccupationMSANew York, NYWashington, DCCharlotte, NCHarrisburg, PAUS Average
Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers, Hand$12.24$13.89$13.51$13.73$15.58$12.86
Packers and Packagers, Hand$10.23$11.28$11.32$11.66$11.18$11.40
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators$15.71$17.37$17.82$15.12$17.32$16.39
Transportation, Storage and Distribution Managers$41.23$60.61$54.69$49.97$46.55$45.74

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Contact Us

  • Whitney Bonham
    Whitney BonhamDirector of Economic Development and Community Relations
    Tel. 276-525-1300