Henrico startup Duck Duck Eggs ’employed’ 10,000 ducks to start

Kort Risser launched Duck Duck Eggs with his brother and father in 2016. (Mike Platania)

HENRICO, VA. — Most entrepreneurs need people to get their startups going. The Risser family needed a workforce of a different sort to launch their Henrico-based business: 10,000 ducks.

Led by father Ken and sons Kolt and Kort, the Rissers last year launched Duck Duck Eggs, a Sandston startup trying to become a commercial duck egg producer with national reach.

Leaning on Ken’s 30 years of experience in the poultry production and sales industry, Kort said they hatched the idea after noticing the popularity of organic, cage-free and pasture-raised eggs, and then seeing a carton of duck eggs on a Whole Foods shelf.

“We think the specialty egg market is the next big thing in the egg case,” Kort said. “We think the next step is duck or quail eggs.”

The company leased a cage-free, 120,000-square-foot farm in Cumberland County, and bought a flock of ducklings from a hatchery in Pennsylvania. Its office and packaging facility is at a 3,000-square-foot office space at 5737 Charles City Circle in Sandston.

Now that the ducks are of age, production is in full swing. Risser said the company’s ducks lay an egg every 24 to 36 hours, and it already has sold roughly 50,000 eggs in 2017.

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