Broadway Market celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday, June 28 with a huge celebration that included a barbecue.
The market, at the corner of Broadway and Leveroni, is known for its casual atmosphere, friendly customer service, Harris Ranch meats and Sonoma’s Best Popcorn.
Longtime owners, and cousins, Ron Rodgers and Dianne Gaudino wanted to show their appreciation by throwing an impressive celebration for their loyal customers and vendors. Old and young alike dropped by the market during the day-long celebration.
Customers said they had been coming to the market for 20-plus years. Eric Nyberg, owner of Nyberg Landscape, said, “I worked at Broadway Market in high school.” Now his daughter, Emma Nyberg, is following suit and is working in the deli. Some of the old timers reminisced as they soaked in the years gone by.
Other Sonoma residents stopped by throughout the day to celebrate the market “where everybody knows your name.”
Volunteers Lynda and Anna Robles, Gary and Terri Clarke, and Kyle Gusse sold commemorative Broadway Market 40th anniversary T-shirts and hats. The Native Sons of the Golden West had their usual suspects Dean Zellers, Bill Wrobel, Billy Montini and Gary Mazza serving drinks while barbecue masters Jimmy McAuliffe, Eddie Robles, and Tony, from Columbus Salami, flipped burgers with a smile for six hours in the scorching Sonoma heat.
Resident John Hooker donated his time and his Sicilian pasta salad for all to enjoy. Alongside the loyal volunteers, were the dedicated employees of Broadway Market who not only helped staff the barbecue, but set up, cleaned up and did everything to make the event a success.
Loyalty to the market says much about the owners and management. Some employees have been working with Rodgers, Gaudino and manager Al Robles for more than 20 years.
Robles started at Broadway Market at the ripe age of 17 in November 1977.
Now his daughter, Anna, works as a checker and in the deli when she is home from college.
Robles worked together with owners Rodgers and Gaudino and local vendors to make this event a successful one.
Vendors such as Bob Benzinger of Benzinger Family Wines, Clover Milk and Clo the Cow, Fred and Amy Groth of Limoncello, Hansons of Sonoma Organic Vodka, Columbus Salami, Pennywise Wines, Rockstar and Evergood Sausage provided food and drinks for the longtime Broadway Market customers.
Patrons were also treated to the music of the Tommy Thomsen Band and Jon Williams from Ten Foot Tone
With the 40th year anniversary of the market, there will be some changes ahead, not in the friendly local service, but some improvements to again commemorate local patrons and vendors throughout the market’s 40 years in Sonoma.