Monday, December 2, 2013

Granzella's: The Anchor of Williams

In October 2007, the historical anchor of the town of Williams, CA, sustained a substantial fire. Granzella’s, which was a small deli when the family purchased it in 1976, had grown. The Granzella family had expanded the restaurant, added food-specialty products, an ice cream parlor and finally the sports bar.

Only the sports bar, which had a required fire wall installed when it was added to the restaurant in 1997, was spared. But Colusa County’s second largest employer had 125 of its 300 employees out of work. (In addition to these businesses under one roof, the Granzella Inn is located a few yards away.)

One year later, the restaurant and related businesses were re-opened with services and products to meet the tastes of both locals and travelers (

David Benda at noted that the Granzella family has given their employees two months' pay after the fire, and all 125 were back to work when the business re-opened.
Entering the spacious deli area confirmed the business' commitment to serving a wide range of tastes.

I noticed the display of the German thuringer sausage next to the salame toscano and San Francisco's Molinari & Sons sausage.
Opposite the deli was a wonderful olive bar,
and next to the deli case was a gelato counter. Some of the flavors included peach, lemoncello, tiramisu, and oreo.
In an adjacent room were the specialty food items. My eyes focused on the variety of hot sauces.
In general, hot sauces have some of the most creative names among food products. For example, I found Dave’s Gourmet had hot sauces named: Insanity, Temporary Insanity, Total Insanity, Ultimate Insanity, and Ghost Peppers (“So Hot It’s Spooky”).
Then there was Blair’s Mega Death Sauce and Desert Creatures Black Widow’s Kiss X-tra Hot Sauce ("Only a kiss of this concoction is sufficient.... More than that can be lethal.")

But my choice for the most ominous warning went to Spontaneous Combustion Hot Sauce ("Be careful or this sauce may turn you into an ash heap.")

So after just a few minutes in this large store, we would agree with this assessment: "…a quick glance around this small agricultural truck stop off I-5 showed me that the Granzella family has the tourist trade down pat. Owners of a full eatery, gift shop, catering and banqueting facility and motel, the Granzella’s seem to have all the bases covered when someone needs a pit-stop off the freeway" (bestbreakfastin
And the sports bar was just the place to top off our stop.

(OOPS: In my entry on Sandhill Cranes two days ago, I incorrectly identified the bird in the first three photos as a sandhill crane. My cousin Tom, a knowledgeable birder, noted that the bird in the photos was a blue heron. I regret the error and appreciate Tom's interest in setting the record straight.)