Other than the quality meats, produce and customer service, why has Lorraine Wedekind, in white, shopped at Broadway Market since it opened in 1974? “Somebody’s got to tell them what to do,” quips the longtime Sonoma resident, who remembers when the space was a blacksmith shop.
Wedekind marks the store’s 40th anniversary with, from left, manager Al Robles and owners Ron Rodgers and Dianne Gaudino. Rodgers, who grew up in Napa working in the grocery business, said he always wanted a store of his own. He bought an existing grocery, and refashioned it as Broadway Market in 1974.
Three years later, he hired Robles, then a teenager. “We had to take him,” Rodgers joked. “We felt sorry for the poor kid.” Thirty-seven years later, Robles manages the market, which makes a habit of employee loyalty – several workers have been there for nearly 20 years of more. “It’s a fantastic place to shop,” Wedekind said. It better be, Robles said, “or she’ll pick up the phone and let us know.”