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Vallerga's Markets Founder Dies at 90

Joe Vallerga, the son of Italian immigrants who farmed in what is now the Oxbow District, founded the first Vallerga's Market nearby in 1947. He died Thursday, according to the Napa Valley Register.

The is reporting the death of one of the city's longest-standing businessmen and benefactors.

Joe Vallerga, founder of , died Thursday at 90, according to the Register report.

Vallerga, the son of Italian immigrants who farmed in what is now the Oxbow District, founded the first Vallerga's Market nearby in 1947. 

The business grew to encompass three supermarkets and the JV Wine & Spirits shop, before dwindling in the new century to the single grocery store it now operates in Redwood Plaza.

Vallerga's has also been a stalwart supporter of local schools and other community causes, according to the Register report, which cites the company web site stating that Vallerga's has donated over $7.5 million worth of merchandise since 1947.

Larry Cereghino August 03, 2012 at 11:31 PM
So Sad to hear that Joe Vallerga Has passed on. I worked for Joe at Vallerga for almost 30 years,He was a great boss. I remember one time I was working and it was about 500am. I looked up and saw Joe,and said hey Joe how did you get in he laughted ..well I do have a Key to the store..He always had a smile on his face when ever in the store.And always said Good Morning to every one. I enjoyed working for Joe,Now he will open a store in heaven....Rest in peace Joe
Mark Seelye August 04, 2012 at 12:59 AM
It's the end of an era here in Napa with the passing of Joe Vallerga. I also went to work for Joe one month after Larry, in the previous comment, and spent the next 34 years at Vallerga's Mkts. The thousands of people who know Joe have nothing but good things to say about him. A wonderful legacy, and a wonderful family, and a great place to work.
Harry Fitzpatrick August 04, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I worked for Joe for 29 years. In an age where class seems to be a lost virtue, Joe made up for it in spades, he was always a man of his word, He was an avid hunter and fisherman and though I was only an employee, I was able to share with him that special bond of a fellow outdoorsman. Working for him instilled in me an exceptional work ethic that I carry to this day. Joe Vallerga was a man of character and integrity and inspired those attributes in others. In this day and age of corporations and fleetting loyalty, a man of Joe's stature is a rare breed. My most sincere condolences to the entire Vallerga family. Joe may be gone, but he left behind a legacy that will inspire for generations, truly a great man and I will miss him dearly.
Darla R. Stever August 04, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Wow, time flies. I worked for Vallergas from about 1974-1989? I've lost track of time. I remember him coming in the store, after or before hours, with his hunting buddies, to cut up the deer in the meet department. LOL....He will be missed by all, I am sure! Darla Stever
Doris Gentry August 04, 2012 at 03:53 AM
WOW so very sorry to hear about Joe - what a strong and dynamic family. He was the Grand Marshal of the Napa 4th of July Parade in 2010 - what a historic figure. Prays to all the family and friends that will miss him - 100 hugs to you!
tamie August 07, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I remember my grandma going to the original store to "trade". She didn't call it shopping when she went to Vallerga's. Maybe she was "trading" groceries for pleasantries. He was a great man, and yes, he had a wonderful smile. I think that charm may have lured grandma in there as well. ;)
Chuck Meibeyer August 07, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Joe was a kind and generous friend to everyone. Always friendly, always willing to help. Sad to see him pass, and hope the Redwood Store can stay open as a reminder of what a good grocer he was. Chuck Meibeyer

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