Oakville Grocery´s bunny was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation last week and has been saved from its road kill ending with only moments to spare as payroll funding was running out. Although the inner workings of the deal are hush-hush, reliable sources claim that Leslie Rudd of Rudd Winery and Pat Roney, of Girard Winery have stepped in as consulting managers for the troubled chain and have begun negotiations on acquiring the three store group. Both Rudd and Roney have interests in Dean and DeLuca. Rudd is one of the major shareholders of D&D and Roney once served as CEO.
Although it has been widely speculated that the Oakville group is on the verge of bankruptcy, Rudd and Roney are planning an asset purchase of the company in the low to mid six-figure range according to sources. They are in the process of making payoff deals with vendors in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy proceedings.
With last month´s closing of the San Francisco location the rabbit seemed doomed. Rudd and Roney, longtime Napa Valley entrepreneurs stepped in at the last minute to give the chain new life. In the past week, wine inventory in the Oakville location has increased and product is once again packing the shelves. The buzz in the industry is that the Dean and DeLuca buying power has helped shore up the company that has been having cash flow problems with vendors for the past year.
Although the deal will not be completed until month´s end many of the employees who had been laid off last month have been rehired, store hours have been extended and the shelves are once again full. It appears the bunny hops again, just in time for Easter.