Penngrove Market's Backstory
Penngrove Market’s backstory is full of history and community, and it’s impossible to talk about the market without addressing both. The Ronsheimer building was built in 1872 and housed just about every kind of business a small town like Penngrove could ask for. It was the general store and mercantile, hardware store, restaurant, phone office, grocery store, you name it. After smoke damage from a fire in May of 2015, the building was closed and all the occupants moved to various places around Sonoma County. It sat empty for 2 years, its exterior decorated lovingly with murals of pastoral scenes representing Penngrove and the surrounding area.
Meanwhile, local resident, Rebecca McDowell, had been dreaming of a beautiful market in the building for months. She, with her husband, Evan, then brought Joe and Shaina Ferraro into the fold. Together, they believed that a neighborhood grocery store, filled with the bounty of Sonoma County, was just what the Penngrove community needed. Happily, Martin Sessi, the owner of the Ronsheimer building, agreed with their vision. While Martin and his crew painstakingly restored the building, Rebecca and her team were hard at work researching, writing the business plan, and raising funds to make Penngrove Market come to life.
Now the Ronsheimer building has been given another chance at being the general store and mercantile for the community, much as it was over 100 years ago. Well, maybe a bit different. But the circle has come around again for this fine old building and for Penngrove, too.
Penngrove Market would like to extend their most sincere thanks to Martin Sessi and the whole Sessi family, for all they’ve done to allow Penngrove Market to thrive again. We’d also thank Chuck Lucas for sharing some of the history of the Ronsheimer building with us. Any mistakes are solely our own!