Celebrating 16 Years of all Things French!

Celebrating 16 Years of all Things French!

I have always been warned that time seems to speed up as you get older, but it seems impossible that Chateau Sonoma is celebrating its 16th birthday!

Chateau Sonoma French Flea Market San Francisco | chateausonoma.com

Chateau Sonoma’s original storefront off the square in Sonoma, CA {photo by Cathy Stencil}

It all started as an idea on a plane ride coming back from France in 2001 and we opened the doors September of 2002. What an incredible journey it has been and I feel compelled to begin with sharing my gratitude for all of you who have supported us over the years and for my former husband who encouraged me to try something new and start a small business.

It has been an adventurous and incredible ride as we travel back and forth to France and do what we can to bring the French way of life here. We started with the French Flea Market, organizing trips for customers to come to France with us and importing French antiques, soaps, textiles and object d’art that we know you love!

Chateau Sonoma French Flea Market San Francisco | chateausonoma.com

The French Flea market has been our signature event for the past 15 years. We wanted to create the same environment that we experience at the big antique markets in France that are filled with vintage treasures, French BBQ, and lots of rosé. We invite french importers from all over the San Francisco bay area and sometimes they come from as far away as France to set up their wares for the Memorial Day weekend. People from far and wide call us throughout the year to make their travel plans around this event and they don’t have to travel all the way to France.

We also host an annual trek to the French countryside and bring our customers along to join in on an actual French experience. We found a lovely Chateau to gather smaller groups in the Southwest part of France and have the most incredible guide you can imagine who takes us through the underbelly of the French countryside and tours us through brocants, farmers markets and who also prepares the most incredible meals throughout the week. The word “farm to table” takes on a whole new meaning here!

Another way we have been able to share with you all things French over the years is through sourcing what we have found to be the top artisans and products in France. We carry everything from the notorious Astier de Villatte pottery to donkey milk soap that we found in a small shop in St. Antonin du Val. The story goes that Cleopatra only bathed in donkey milk soap. We will continue our search and bring back the best that France has to offer as we go along. 

We hope you will continue with us on our journey as we develop new ideas and ways to bring you the authenticity and quality that the French inspire. We are currently working on developing our French pantry with our Chateau Sonoma proprietary products, bringing in more architectural pieces as customer rebuild their homes after the fires and continue to offer you more and more to make your house your home give it a real French twist.

Chateau Sonoma French Antiques in Northern California | chateausonoma.com

Not a side note, but a main note! I would be remiss in not thanking all of the people who have been crucial in making Chateau Sonoma possible. Terry Wicks continues to style the store that blows my mind! Nicole has the most can-do attitude and shares a deep love for all things French that she shares with customers. Samantha Reed for keep us on financial track. Michelle Lacy who works tirelessly in pulling together the French Flea Market every year and Chloe Mackintosh for keeping our lines of communicating visually and through the written word so we can let you know what we are up to. She is amazing!

Abientot et Merci Beaucoup!


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