Hard Rock develops vending partnerships with local businesses

A Hard Rock Hotel and Casino may still be a couple of years away from opening in Bristol. But the company is ready to form a sale partnership with some local business owners.

Southern Churn owner Karen Hester has been serving up homemade fudge at her State Street shop. She has been doing this for the past six years. Lately, she has a new customer.

” We were so excited to partner and do business with Hard Rock Casino. They are the primary clients that we are working with. We pack fudge for them.” said Hester.

Hard Rock executives told community members they wanted local vendors to supply goods and services at the Vendor Fair event in October 2020. They need services for their planned resort in Bristol. Hester then applied. She is now selling ten different flavors of fudge at Hard Rock property in Tampa.

“That goes to their facility in Florida. They sell their products like this, under the Southern Churn label. It shows that the products are right here in Bristol, Virginia,” she said.

Hester stated she despatched a preliminary cargo of fudge to the Florida facility in December. The product sold out within a week.

“We’ve shipped out the product to them four times. That’s thrilling information for a small business,” she said.


When touring Bristol’s last year, Hard Rock executives additionally observed the abilities of nearby craftworker Fred Sexton. He was the proprietor of Bristol Artisan Company.

Sexton created custom-made signs fashioned like a poker chip. He also made dice with ‘Bristol’ spelled out inside. He introduced them to the vendor fair last October to provide to Hard Rock officials.

“I suppose possibly that got some attention,” he said.

The company found a business opportunity for Sexton in the months. He designed a stainless steel napkin holder. He will craft 80 of them to be used at the Hard Rock casino in Northern Indiana. The casino is opening soon.

“If I do an excellent job on this, I hope I make them to Bristol,” he said.

Both Hester and Sexton hope it is just the beginning for them. And for other neighboring vendors. It gives opportunities to form partnerships with Hard Rock.

Sexton stated he is working with another local supplier in Abingdon. He will help to produce the napkin holders, giving them a business opportunity as well. He believes it’s an example of the approach the upcoming Hard Rock Bristol property will have on the local economy.

“There is no confusion in my mind. The goal of having millions of dollars will inject into our economy. This will be because of the Hard Rock Casino and Resort, it’s going to happen, quickly,” he said.

A Hard Rock spokesperson said on Monday that the company still plans for the site in Bristol to open in the next two years.




Nassima Azmzm

Nassima Azmzm

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