|Boisset Collection has announced its purchase of Oakville Grocery, scheduled to close in early 2019. Founded in 1881, Oakville Grocery is the oldest continually operating grocery store in California and has been a destination for nearly 140 years. The purchase includes the Oakville store and property, the Healdsburg location and the brand from the Rudd family, proprietors of Rudd Estate and PRESS Restaurant, who completed significant restoration of the Oakville property, grocery store, and adjacent Victorian house during eleven years of ownership. It joins Boisset’s family-owned portfolio of historical wineries and lifestyle and gourmet retail destinations.
“I have always adored the Oakville Grocery for what it represents for Napa Valley, for California and for America,” says Jean-Charles Boisset, Proprietor of Boisset Collection. “I have fond memories of visiting from France with my parents and sister when I was 11 years old. It is a landmark and iconic destination at the crossroads of history in Napa that has been the community gathering place, mercantile, farm stand, and grocery for neighbors and visitors alike for well over a century. The Rudd family have been remarkable stewards, believing in its past and future, and infusing the property with the passion, care and respect it deserves. We are exceptionally honored to be entrusted to carry forward this timeless property and continue their dreams.”
Boisset plans to offer a selection of fresh and local products from farmers, artisans, and purveyors in Napa and Sonoma, anchoring Oakville Grocery with a sense of history and place in the foundation of local, sustainable, organic, and healthy food.
“Oakville Grocery has been a staple of Napa Valley since 1881,” says Samantha Rudd, Proprietor of Rudd Estate and PRESS Restaurant. “My family purchased it in 2007 in order to revive the illustrious historical store that has meant so much to this community. My father’s vision was to restore it to its rightful place in California wine country, and to ensure that its legacy remained for the local and tourist community for decades to come. Our family invested significantly in the site and the store, including a restoration to the historical Victorian house in Oakville, to achieve his vision. I am proud of my father’s stewardship.”
Oakville Grocery joins Boisset Collection’s historical wineries and destinations in California and France, including Buena Vista Winery, founded in 1857 as the first premium winery in California. Boisset’s portfolio is anchored in history, heritage and terroir in Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy, Jura, Beaujolais, the Rhône Valley and the South of France. The purchase enhances Boisset’s continued vision to embrace a lifestyle realm, where wine is at the center of its mission, but is complemented by spirits, beer, cider, luxury retail, Jean-Charles’s personally designed jewelry, and the finest of the epicurean world. Boisset’s Atelier Fine Foods in Yountville, opened in 2016, was the company’s first foray into gourmet food and will continue its mission and focus on a curated selection of high-quality gourmet products, from both local and hard-to-find international purveyors, some of which are exclusively imported and sold by Atelier.
“As we look to the future of the timeless Oakville Grocery, we are honored that Jean-Charles Boisset, the renowned vintner and entrepreneur, has agreed to assume the mantle and carry on the legacy. We believe, like Jean-Charles, that Oakville Grocery belongs to history and to the future, and that we are its caretakers. Passing it to his leadership represents our harmony of vision, interest, and excitement, while allowing me to focus on Rudd Estate and PRESS Restaurant, knowing that Oakville Grocery is in good hands,” said Samantha Rudd. “We are confident that Jean-Charles will protect and enhance the Oakville Grocery brand, property, and business for future generations of customers. Our trust in Boisset’s vision was an essential consideration as we selected the right steward for Oakville Grocery’s future, from one family to another and from one steward to the next.”
Boisset has long championed certified sustainable, organic and Biodynamic® practices at its estates in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, and France, and intends to anchor Oakville Grocery’s future offerings with the same commitment. “We often say that we do not own the land, we borrow it from the future generations. With Oakville Grocery, the gathering place of Napa and Sonoma, we as well are responsible vis-à-vis the community, the local vintners, growers and gardeners, the prior owners, and our guests and employees to protect its past and enhance its future. We will do so by connecting with California’s roots in sustainability and fresh, local, and healthy food. And of course, it will be a reference for finding the phenomenal wines of our neighbors and friends. Oakville Grocery will become our call to action, to compel our communities to take stand for the future of food, sustainability, and quality.”
Boisset will begin operating Oakville Grocery in early 2019.