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Sonoma’s Broadway Market sale is finalized

By in 2021 - Volume 23

Broadway Market has been a Sonoma staple since 1947.

September 9, 2021, 5:45PM
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Broadway Market, the City of Sonoma’s last locally owned grocery store, has sold to an out of town group called Sonoma Local Investors LLC. The extended family owns multiple gas stations, restaurants and stores in the East Bay.

The estimated sales price was $4.5 million.

The sale included the business only, and not the building or surrounding property. Jim Karabochos still owns 2 acres around the store on the southwest corner of Broadway and Leveroni Road and told the Index-Tribune on Thursday that “I will never sell it, and I will never develop it.”

According to Broadway Market’s website, “In 1947 Gust and Rose Karabochos developed a 2.5-acre site at 20511 Broadway, Sonoma, in the heart of the Wine Country that included a service station and an auto garage. The Mission-style store building also housed Polar Bear Meats, frozen food lockers, a barbershop, and a soda fountain.”

In 1974, Ron Rodgers and his cousin Diane Gaudino took over the quiet market.

Rodgers grew up in Napa working in the grocery business and always wanted a store of his own. At that time this market had only one employee before the cousins refashioned it as Broadway Market. Today, there are 32 employees and many of them have worked there for several years or even decades.

Beloved store manager Alfred Robles, who recently passed away, began working at the market in 1977. Karabochos remembers then teenager “Al” bringing groceries to his mother at their house in back of the store.

Without next-generation family interested in taking over the store it seemed reasonable for Rodgers and Guadino to sell.

For years, Broadway Market practically donated chickens for Schell Vista Fire Department’s chicken barbecue fundraisers and everything else that benefits communitywide causes. Recently they gave Rotary a good deal on hundreds of sandwiches for the volunteers who administered vaccinations at Sonoma Valley High School via Sonoma Valley Hospital.

The sale of Broadway Market had been delayed beyond the original estimated June closing of the deal. Since Rodgers and Gaudino had owned the popular store for 48 years, the county demanded some upgrades to current code before the sale could go through. As Rogers explained earlier to the Index-Tribune, the cousins had to hire architects to draw plans for the improvements, submit them to the Sonoma County Health Department and wait for approval.

Broadway Market’s sandwiches have been voted the best in Sonoma Valley several years in a row according to Sonoma Index-Tribune readers, and for good reason. And their Harris Ranch beef and rotisserie chickens are sought by many.

Staff reached on Thursday have been told by the new owners that everyone is staying in place and nothing will change. Everyone at the store says the new owners are “very nice.”

Despite the Sonoma Local Investors, LLC ownership, the seller believes there are no local investors involved.

Broadway Market is located at 20511 Broadway, corner of Leveroni, in Sonoma.

Steve Zimmerman, the Principal Broker of Restaurant Realty, had the pleasure of representing both Ron and Dianne, the Sellers, and Local Sonoma Investors, Inc, the Buyers. Steve and Restaurant Realty wish Ron and Dianne much enjoyment in their well-deserved retirement and wish the Buyers much continued success in continuing the Broadway Market tradition of providing a price value operation serving quality food and excellent service


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