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Sonoma County Gazette
Bodega Country Store
The new owner of the Bodega Country Store, Ariel Coddington’s main goals are to have superior quality, local products from from such places as Andy’s Produce and meats from Panizzera and Freestone Ranch.  

The Bodega Country Store is back!

Sep 29, 2018


After its 18-month hiatus, Ariel Coddington has taken over our beloved Bodega Country store. She is the sole-proprietress and has been running the place on her own day in and day out since the soft opening on September 1st. She is a kind and gentle Israeli who would love to meet each of you. This is her seventh year in California and second year here in quaint little Bodega, which she loves. So far she’s had great experiences meeting everybody - most neighbors are personable and happy to have the store back. The community really came together for her, bringing signs to display in front and attract others.

In mid-2017, Coddington began the switch-over process from the previous shop, has since renovated the place and been working through the terribly long permitting procedures. She is grateful to have received help and support from the county and health department in this regard. They have granted mercy so that the beer and wine license is only months away. Come next spring, there will also be a kosher deli - offering sandwiches, salads, soup and chili.

Coddington’s main goals are to have superior quality, local products at affordable prices. She aims to be what neighbors and customers want, offering things that she would buy herself. She focuses on great quality food staples, beverages and snacks along with eco-friendly cleaning products and household supplies. There's great variety all around. She decorated with squash from the Heirloom Expo, offers produce from Andy’s and meats from Panizzera and Freestone Ranch.

You all are encouraged to “come over” and see what you like. Our new store-operator is happy to be gradually figuring it out as she goes - week by week. She reported that the easy part was the technicality of putting the physical bits and pieces together. At the shop’s soft opening, it didn’t quite appear open and people weren’t even aware of it. Hopefully by word of mouth, neighbors will flow through and visitors will stop in.

The store has a very bright, open feel. Coddington says “The Birds moved out” as there is no longer a Hitchcock museum, the only birds you’ll find are outside. The goal is to serve the local community, not just seasonal tourists. As for the empty walls, she wants to feature art of the nearby area - it will come. She’ll “mix it up and see what comes.” I can't wait to see what develops.

The store structure has been there since 1854. The original owner was McCaughey, who donated the old fire hall across the way. Then the late Milt Cunningham ran the general store for many years. Helen and Joe Bonfigli took over and birthed the Bodega Country Store itself in 1985, who later passed it on to their son Tom, the building owner. It has a long-standing legacy, which we are glad to see continue. Since Coddington is not the most internet-savvy, all the information you find when googling the store, refers to the old business. Bear with her as she navigates the online platforms.

Once the bureaucratic waiting game is over and the beer and wine license is approved, there will be a big grand opening party. 17190 Bodega Hwy, Bodega, CA. She is prepared with amazing local beer and wine offerings. Stay tuned and call her anytime. (707) 377-4080.  

Feel free to offer comments, feedback and suggestions. Store hours for now are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. most days.


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