Williams-Sonoma Re-Opens Store at Original 1956 Sonoma Location
Williams-Sonoma will be reopening a retail location and cooking school in Sonoma on October 4th in the same location where the first store opened almost six decades ago. The timing also coincides with the 99th birthday of Chuck Williams, the company’s legendary founder on October 2nd. Williams’ culinary legacy began in 1956 when he purchased a hardware store in the Northern Californian wine country town of Sonoma. An avid cook, Williams began introducing cooking and serving equipment that he found in his travels to France. The merchandise was used by professional chefs and had never been available to home cooks. The items he selected quickly caught on and Williams converted the space to his first store, which combined a clean, and well-organized merchandise presentation with his own passion for personal service. He viewed his customers as friends and his love of the area is reflected in the fact that he incorporated it in the name of his company.
“This is a momentous occasion coming home to Sonoma where the company began. It is our goal to honor this special place as well as Chuck’s legacy with an inspiring new destination that reflects the values upon which Chuck built the business,” said Janet Hayes, President, Williams-Sonoma Brand. Ms. Hayes continued, “The store will feature a curated collection of original items creating a timeline that deepens the customer experience while also offering recent new product concepts and introductions, continuing Chuck’s spirit of innovation.”
A cooking school featuring an innovative design allowing for hands on instruction for up to 12 students carries on Chuck’s commitment to not only equip, but also educate the home cook. The new concept also joins the original footprint of the store with the residence where Chuck Williams lived.
The original footprint has been planned with the bay shelving and black and white floor tiles that became early trademarks for the brand. Select fixtures and materials were salvaged and incorporated to maintain the integrity of the architecture. A garden of raised beds and planters to grow herbs and seasonal crops has been created for use by the onsite culinary team. The Sonoma store is located at 605 Broadway in Sonoma, CA. Opening hours are Monday-Sunday 9am-6pm.
Since its founding by Chuck Williams in 1956, the Williams-Sonoma brand has been bringing people together around food. A member of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM) portfolio of brands, Williams-Sonoma is a leading specialty retailer of high-quality products for the kitchen and home, providing world-class service and an engaging customer experience. Products include cookware, cooks’ tools, cutlery, electrics, bakeware, food, tabletop and bar, outdoor, cookbooks, as well as furniture, lighting and decorative accessories. Each store has a professional demonstration kitchen for cooking classes and tastings conducted by expert culinary staff. Williams-Sonoma Cooking Schools, located in select locations in the U.S. and Australia, offer hands-on classes led by professional chefs. A comprehensive gift registry program for weddings and other special events is available in stores and online. On williams-sonoma.com and the Williams-Sonoma blog, Taste, customers can find recipes, tips and techniques that help them create delicious meals and wonderful memories.
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