A chance encounter led to the founding of Eagle Transportation and Redwood Empire Wine Storage.
It was the height of the Great Depression, and young Chet Galeazzi was thirsty. The hot and dusty Sonoma County summer had arrived in punishing fashion, and Chet was taking a short break from his daily labors at the family gas station.
While Chet rested in the shade of the front stoop, a delivery truck pulled up to replenish the station's stock of soda and sparkling water. The driver spotted the overheated young Galeazzi and, with a wink, handed him a cool bottle of water from his truck.
That momentary feeling of joy and gratitude stuck with Chet, and he resolved to one day build a business that would deliver that feeling on a daily basis.
And so in 1977, with a $1,000 loan from the bank, Chet Galeazzi purchased his first truck and Eagle Transportation was born. The new company initially serviced the beer industry, but eventually made the change over to wine when Sonoma and Napa county produced vintages exploded in popularity.
Chet and his daughters Lori and Lynn continued to operate and expand the business, which included opening Redwood Empire Wine Storage in 1991 with new partner Mark Burris.
In 1994, Mark bought Chet’s shares of Eagle Transportation Company, Inc. Mark, Lori, and Lynn continued to oversee the day-to-day operations of these two well integrated and respected companies.
Then, in 2015, after nearly 40 years in the wine logistics business, the Galeazzi Family sold Eagle Transportation and Redwood Empire Wine Storage to several long time employees: Mike Brady, Jeannette Moneymaker and Heidi Pabros.
While the ownership may be new, the same spirit that Chet brought to the business is alive and well.
Eagle Transportation founder Chet Galeazzi in his beloved 1930 Ford.
Chet Galeazzi in 2013.