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Andronico's Market is pictured in Los Altos on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011. The specialty market chain...

Renovo Capital bought both San Leandro-based A.G. Ferrari Foods and San Francisco-based Andronico's Markets. After filing for bankruptcy in April, A.G. Ferrari was purchased for $1.2 million a few weeks ago. Andronico's was bought for $16 million last week.
"These things can take a little bit of time, but it's been a very quick process," Andronico's spokesman Adam Alberti said. "It's been a period of around 60 days -- that's really unusual."
Just months after closing branches in Palo Alto, officials from both chains have confirmed that the Los Altos stores are safe and preparing for the holiday season.
However, one of Andronico's four Berkeley stores will close this weekend as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, Alberti said. "It's fairly safe to presume that it was not operating," Alberti said of the store at 1414 University Ave. in Berkeley.
Andronico's employs 440 workers in its stores and state Employment Development Department documents show that 24 jobs will be eliminated with the closure of the University Avenue store.
Founded by Greek immigrant Frank Andronico in 1929, the chain will continue to operate three stores in Berkeley, one in San Francisco and one in San Anselmo. The Andronico's name will be kept, and when asked about CEO Bill Andronico, Alberti said Renovo has "stated
that they intend to keep in large part the executive team."
After an aggressive expansion into the East Bay in the late 1990s failed, Andronico's continued to amass debt until it filed for bankruptcy protection on Aug. 22.
The Palo Alto store at the Stanford Shopping Center closed July 24 after about 14 years in business. Like A.G. Ferrari, which closed its downtown store five months ago, the two chains cut their Palo Alto locations due to high leases. Customers were redirected to the Los Altos branches, where Andronico's operates out of the Rancho Shopping Center and A.G. Ferrari in downtown on Main Street.
A.G. Ferrari was founded in 1919 and also operates two branches in Oakland, three in San Francisco, and one each in Berkeley, Lafayette and Corte Madera. The chain employs about 100 people overall, and fewer than 10 work at the Los Altos store, said Danielle Caponi, A.G. Ferrari's director of marketing.
The Renovo purchase is "a really positive change," Caponi said. Alberti added that there is a lot of optimism at Andronico's that Renovo will enhance the brand.
And there may even be opportunity for collaboration between the two chains in the future.
While Andronico's cater to specialty wine, deli and produce needs, A.G. Ferrari produces pastas, sauces, olive oils and vinegars from all over Italy. Those products could show up on Andronico's shelves at some point, Caponi said

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