PORT TOWNSEND — Aldrich’s Market will open under new ownership Thursday after almost closing for good in November.
Scott and Robin Rogers, the owners of the seasonal hot dog stand Dog-A-Foot in downtown Port Townsend, are the new owners of the 122-year-old market.
“Dogs-A-Foot is seasonal, so we were looking for something extra,” Scott Rogers said.
Scott said he wasn’t excited about the prospect of owning a market but that his wife convinced him to check it out.
“After meeting some of the people who work here and getting an idea of what this place means to the uptown community and the community in general, the decision was kind of made,” he said.
The Rogerses have lived in Port Townsend for roughly six years and moved from Bainbridge Island, where Robin lived for over 10 years, Scott for about six.
“We were looking for a more rural life and to truly become a part of the community,” Robin Rogers said.
“We’re fortunate that we got to do this.”
The Rogerses are taking over ownership from Milton Fukuda and his family.
The Fukudas have run the market for a decade and during that time completely renovated the interior.
In November, Fukuda said he and his family did not plan to renew the lease after it expired at the end of January.
Without a renewed lease, Aldrich’s would have closed. Fukuda was so certain of the closure that he set up a sign at the store’s entrance announcing the closure and threw a goodbye party for the staff in November.
However, a little more than a week after the sign was put up, Fukuda said he was in talks with a potential buyer.
The talks ended with new owners, Aldrich’s continuing its long history and the staff members keeping their jobs.
“They [the staff] were what made the decision for us — the passion of the people who work here,” Scott Rogers said.
Aldrich’s Market opened in 1895 when Clark Aldrich purchased a variety store from Robert Gray. The store was destroyed by fire in August 2003 but was rebuilt.
Scott Fukuda and his parents, Milton and Renee Fukuda, purchased it in January 2007.
Scott Rogers said the couple plans to keep Aldrich’s the way it is for now but in the future will continue to build the business.
Aldrich’s is a popular morning coffee spot for residents of uptown and a lunch spot for students.
“We’ll have kids come in in the afternoon and sit and do their homework,” Robin Rogers said. “That’s what Aldrich’s is all about, and that’s what we’re going to keep.”
The store will be closed Wednesday for inventory and for the Rogerses to meet their staff.
“With all the shifts, not everyone is here at the same time,” Robin Rogers said. “We want to get everyone together.”
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].