After undergoing a complete renovation, Napa Valley’s historic and beloved Oakville Grocery will re-open on Tuesday, May 22nd. Guests will experience a fresher, brighter and timeless design that mirrors the original, yet offers a complete redesign of the menu physically and with what food they offer, a highly curated selection of the best locally sourced gourmet products, and a new line of Oakville Grocery private label foods (launching this fall) all on an easy to create menu template.
Everything will be sourced from California farmers, artisans, and purveyors, with a focus on Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Leading the kitchen and overseeing the market’s revamped culinary program is rising star Chef Jason Rose, formerly of Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma, as well as the Delfina Group and other renowned restaurants in the Bay Area and Wine Country. With the renovation, the 130-year-old Oakville Grocery is set to once again become the area’s premier gourmet market for locals and visitors alike.
“As anyone who lives in or loves Napa Valley knows, Oakville Grocery is a pioneer and a treasure,” said owner Leslie Rudd. “We are incredibly excited to preserve and relaunch this beloved spot as a real local food destination, a place where people come to gather and shop throughout the day. We want Oakville Grocery to be a center of the community, one that creates memories for anyone who visits here.”
The 130-year old Oakville Grocery is located in the heart of Napa Valley at the corner of Oakville Crossroad and Highway 29. Originally opened in 1881, Oakville Grocery began as a farmers’ store. It is the oldest continually operating grocery store in California and one of Napa Valley’s must-stop destinations for food on-the-go, picnics and gifts.
Chef Rose’s new menu will feature delicious and seasonal prepared foods, made-to-order sandwiches and salads, breads, cheeses, charcuterie, and baked goods.
The best ingredients, simply prepared, all sourced from nearby farms, including Rudd Farm and Orchards on Mt. Veeder. The new market will also offer an espresso bar (with an option for ordering coffee from a take-out window at the front of the store) and the neighborhood’s only ice cream counter with cones and cups of much-loved Three Twins Organic Ice Cream from Napa. Set in the area’s most renowned appellation for wine, Oakville Grocery will offer a high quality yet accessible collection of its neighbors’ wines for purchase by the bottle and the glass. All of the food can be taken to-go or can be enjoyed on the property.
The menu is matched by an equally exciting new selection of gourmet food products curated by VP of Merchandising Kathryn Flouton, formerly the Director of Product Development for Trader Joe’s. Kathryn and her team scoured the state to find the best artisanally made products, including local olive oils and vinegars, mustards, handmade preserves, candies, and other unique specialty foods.
Guests can also purchase just-picked fruits and vegetables from the Oakville Grocery’s Farm Stand located just outside the market, all sourced from Rudd Farms. Farmer Omar Morgan oversees 13 acres set amidst vineyards, home to fruit and vegetable trees, olive groves, chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep, turkeys and bees. He is currently growing the summer harvest – tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, beats, eggplant and carrots, which Chef Rose plans to pickle and serve alongside Oakville Grocery’s sandwiches. The farm has over 100 fruit trees, which will soon yield summer’s delicious peaches, apples, pears, plums, nectarines and figs. Chef Jason has been working closely with Farmer Omar in order to harvest the best ingredients for the market’s menu.
Chef Rose has an extensive culinary background at some of the region’s most beloved restaurants, and has also helmed the food programs at a hotel, winery, catering company, non-profit, and market. Prior to his new role, Jason was the Executive Chef for Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma, which received as much recognition for its food as it did on its wine (and just received three-stars from the San Francisco Chronicle). Jason also held the position of Project Manager for The Delfina Restaurant Group, which includes the James Beard Award-winning Delfina, along with Pizzeria Delfina and Locanda Osteria and Bar.
Previously, Jason served as the Corporate Culinary Director for the Tyler Florence Group and the Culinary Director for La Cocina, a non-profit, food-based business that helps low-income women launch food businesses. He debuted professionally in Napa as the Executive Sous Chef at The Carneros Inn.
“I’ve had a love affair with Oakville Grocery ever since I first arrived in Napa Valley in 2002. To have the opportunity to help reinvent one of the country’s most iconic and longstanding markets is incredibly exciting, and to work directly with local farmers and purveyors to inspire the menu is a dream,” said Jason Rose.
Architecture firm Avila Design in Berkeley oversaw the renovation of Oakville Grocery. Surrounded by white wainscoted walls and stunning rustic oak floors, the market now features original details and materials including a well discovered during the renovation, vintage oak refrigeration doors, an iron rack repurposed as a coffee condiment bar, and new entrances with sleek looking finishes carried out by a local company similar to this INDUSTRIAL DOOR COMPANY.
Wider aisles enable a better guest experience, all equipment has been updated, and new commercial shelving has been installed for gourmet products and the new private label collection coming soon.
Now that peel and stick wallpaper has become increasingly more popular, the Grocery has the opportunity to make their wall decor more colorful and exciting, too. That’s one of the benefits of having plain walls – it has the opportunity for potential.
Next up for Oakville Grocery is its new/old neighbor. Adjacent to the market is a beautiful 100-year-old Victorian house that was originally built by the McQuaids, Oakville Grocery’s founding family. Today, the house is being transformed by renowned architect Howard Backen into a tasting room, to open Spring 2013.
Address: 7856 St. Helena Highway in Oakville