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Brocks’ co-owner helps eateries rein in costs

BY BILL FREEHLING

One of the owners of Brock’s Riverside Grill in downtown Fredericksburg has started a side company that aims to help restaurants control their costs.

Leo LaPointe has owned Brock’s with Todd Crompton since the Sophia Street restaurant opened in 1999. A couple of years ago LaPointe started a company called United Acquisition Group with another business partner, Roby Sheppard.

Brock’s has kept LaPointe busy, most recently overseeing an expansion of the restaurant’s indoor bar. But he and Sheppard have signed up 32 restaurants through UAG, and another 50 or so are in the pipeline.

UAG’s tag line—“The wisdom is in the group”—speaks to the business model. UAG uses its network of restaurants to secure better pricing from a variety of food suppliers and service providers than an individual eatery could get on its own.

UAG doesn’t actually distribute food or other goods to restaurants, but it negotiates contracts with key partners after evaluating them closely. Member companies can then order what they need directly through those suppliers for a discount.

UAG charges its members $100 a month, a fee LaPointe thinks is easily covered by the discounts achieved. Members aren’t required to sign up for any specific length of time, and can withdraw at any time.

Most of UAG’s members are in Northern Virginia and Maryland. LaPointe said its Fredericksburg-area members include Brock’s, The Bavarian Chef, Colonial Tavern, TruLuv’s, Legends Sports Grille and Kobe.

UAG has signed contracts with a variety of companies that provide restaurant supplies and services. These include telephone messages, payroll, advertising, linens, payment systems, pest control, kitchen equipment, soda dispensers and numerous food products.

The goal, LaPointe said, is to get members the lowest-possible pricing on the highest-quality products.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405

bfreehling@freelancestar.com

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/business/2012/08/31/brocks-co-owner-helps-eateries-rein-in-costs/