Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has just announced that its Founder and Director Emeritus, Charles E. “Chuck” Williams had just passed away. The retail and culinary icon was said to have died of natural causes. And at the time of his death, Williams was 100 years old.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. that their founder loved two things: cooking and entertaining. It was these and the belief that both professional and home cooks should have access to good quality cookware that inspired Williams to open the very first Williams-Sonoma store way back in 1956. As one might expect, the first store opened in Sonoma-California.
Chuck Williams dead at 100 but remembered for his legacy
For Chuck, every customers that walked in to his stores is a friend being welcomed into their home. And as the first store opened, Williams worked on introducing America to a wide variety of French kitchen products. This included the Madeleine mold, the soufflé dish and the sauté pan. Moreover, Williams is also credited for introducing Americans to balsamic vinegar. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Laura Alber described their late founder as having ” impeccable taste, unique insight for selecting the right products at the right time, and the highest standard of customer service.”
In 1986, Williams published his first cookbook, entitled, “The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook with a Guide to Kitchenware.” He would go on to write and edit over 200 more, including the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library series that managed to sell over 20 million copies. And even with his busy publishing career, Williams always found time to guide the company he founded. He continued giving his input on merchandise strategies as well as making public appearances.
Williams had always been a charitable person, lending his support to organizations like the Culinary Institute of America, California Pacific Medical Center, Food Runners, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma County. And in honor of their founder’s spirit of generosity, Williams-Sonoma asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can simply made in Williams name to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Food Runners.