KENTFIELD -- Woodlands Market owner Don Santa announced today an agreement to acquire the historic Ross Grocery from longtime owner Don Ahrens.
No financial terms have been announced and the transfer of ownership is expected to take 60 days.
After 36 years of working at the grocery, Mr. Ahrens and his wife, Denise, decided to sell to Mr. Santa, whom they say will preserve the tradition and communal aspect of the store that opened 80 years ago and has been operated by Mr. Ahrens and his family since 1946.
“We felt the Santa family would understand the heritage of the grocery and that we would be leaving it in good hands,” Mr. Ahrens said in a statement.
Mr. Santa, who has owned and operated Woodlands Market in Kentfield since 1986 and is a resident of Ross, says he is a long-time supporter of the Ross community and, as such, will maintain a familial vibe to the grocery.
“Woodlands Market has always been a family business; my sister and I are the management team. We are very committed to preserving the feeling of the grocery as part of the Ross family,” Mr. Santa said in a statement.
Mr. Santa said some minor changes can be expected, such as added merchandise from Woodlands Market, but that overall the goal is to “make sure the change of ownership does not alter the special relationship that the Ahrens’ family and employees have built with the community over the years.”
The Ross Grocery opened over 80 years ago and had stood in the same location ever since. Don Ahrens took over the grocery in 1983, when he purchased if from his father, Eddie Ahrens, who had been working there since 1932.
Mr. Santa plans to open a second Woodlands Market location in Tiburon in early 2011. He founded Woodlands Market in Kentfield in 1986 and is a resident of Ross.