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In 1956, Chuck opened his first Williams-Sonoma store in Sonoma, California. Though he says he never thought the concept would catch on, there are currently 260 locations across America and Canada!

"I am surprised [at the success]," Chuck says. "When I started it, it was one little shop for 17 years. And, no, I never expected any more. But look at it today, you know? It's all over the country."

At 92, Chuck hasn't lost his passion for gourmet foods and great kitchenware. Though he's well past retirement age, he's still working at Williams-Sonoma's corporate offices. "I still go to the office," he says. "I don't know why, but I do."

Chuck's not sending the audience home empty-handed. He's giving everyone the three things he loves to sell most at Williams-Sonoma—an Apilco cow creamer, Apilco soufflé dish and a lemon reamer. Bon appetit!
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FROM: Face Behind the Name
Published on January 15, 2008

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