The town of Suffolk was born in 1742 — named after colonial governor William Gooch's home in Suffolk County, England.
Suffolk's peanut legacy took root in 1912, when an Italian immigrant named Amedeo Obici moved to Suffolk and opened Planters Nut and Chocolate Company, now a part of Kraft Foods. Today, Suffolk remains a major peanut processing center and transportation hub. Other large employers in Suffolk include Unilever, Lipton Tea, Wal-Mart, Target, QVC and two major modeling and simulation companies, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Lockheed Martin bases its Center for Innovation in Suffolk.
Every fall, the city is home to the Suffolk Peanut Fest, a four-day event that features peanut-butter sculptures, carnival rides and entertainment.
New restaurants, shops and historic preservation projects — including refurbishing the 1922 Suffolk High School into the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts — are revitalizing the old downtown.
North Suffolk is developing into a high-tech hub, but vast stretches elsewhere in the city, mostly in the southern portion, remain largely rural.
— Daily Press staff
Area: 430 square miles (largest city in the state)
Median age: 36
Mayor: Linda T. Johnson
Contact: 757-514-4000; www.suffolk.va.us