The current Jimtown store owners took the decision to close down and sell long before we knew about the pending impact of Covid. It truly is an iconic presence in Alexander Valley, but what is the next chapter? What is the Jimtown Store for sale price? What do you get?
Ever since 1893, the Jimtown Store, has been a mainstay of Alexander Valley. Under the ownership of Jim Patrick, it originally served as a post office and gathering place for the farmers and residents of the Alexander Valley. While never being formally incorporated as a town, the area, which included several houses and a church nearby became known as Jimtown.
Jim Patrick retired as unofficial mayor of Jimtown and his family closed the store and it stood vacant until the grandchildren sold the property in 1947 to Lloyd and Lydia Goodyear, who previously operated the General Store in Dry Creek Valley and then briefly operated the Alexander Valley Store, now the Medlock Ames tasting room.
They ran the store and built the large metal barn on the west side of the property before selling it to their younger son Bob and Caroline in 1967. The junior Goodyears continued to sell groceries, sundries, sandwiches and deli items, hardware, hunting and fishing licenses. The Goodyears closed the store in 1984 selling it to the current owners Carrie Brown and John Werner.
They immediately set about planning a new type of country store and to resurrect the valley clubhouse. In 1990, Sonoma County approved the plans and the Jimtown Store we know it reopened on Memorial Day weekend in 1991 with a restaurant kitchen, espresso machine, panini grill and shelves stocked with local items, picnic supplies, toys and the old 5-door cooler flled with drinks, beer and wine.
Sadly, the store closed its doors on December 30th 2019 after enduring a torrid few years with tourism badly interrupted by multiple fires and the increasing cost of property presenting additional challenges for finding staff who could afford to live and work locally.
It is now on the market again, waiting for new owners to breathe new life into the iconic store. The property is being marketed by Engel & Volkers in Napa Valley who are pitching various concepts to turn Jimtown into a new destination. These concepts include:
- A marketplace for complementary vendors similar to a small scale Oxbow Public market or SF Ferry building.
- A wine tasting co-operative for small lot wineries who are launching and building brands
- A food destination to continue the tradition of delicious seasonal menus with café and takeaway service. It could even start Monthly or Weekend Pop-up dinners that have started to proliferate (prior to Covid!)
- A Bar or Speakeasy because it has a liquor licence to offer handcrafted beer, cocktails and wine after-hours.
What Does $4.5m Buy?
According to the literature the Jimtown Store for sale price is $4.5m which includes the real estate, brand, trademarks, intellectual property and goodwill. In terms of the tangible assets, it includes buildings which are a combination of commercial and residential totaling 7,919 sq ft on just less than an acre. The structures included in the purchase are as follow:
- The Jimtown Store which was extensively renovated in 1990s.
- The jimtown Metal Barn which could be used for events or as a space for local growers
- Jim Patrick’s Wood Barn constructed from old growth redwood and dating back to the 1890s.
- The Jimtown cottage, a small cottage which was substantially renovated in 1990.
It’s a tough time for so many local businesses. The decision to close and sell Jimtown store was down to a number of factors but certainly in part down to the challenging environment of the last few years. The decision was made long before we knew about the impact of Covid which I am sure reinforced the decision that the right time had come to sell. In the same way that The Shed is being repurposed off the back of a local benefactor, let’s hope that someone with the vision for re-imagining the Jimtown Store can step in to bring an icon of Alexander Valley back to life and onto even greater things.