SAN FRANCISCO -- Sad news for cooking fans far-and-wide. According to statements from Chuck Williams' family, the beloved founder passed away from natural causes at the age of 100. He, opened the first Williams-Sonoma store in 1956.
So, what inspired such a large empire? Apparently a trip to Paris three years earlier.
I couldn't get over seeing so many great things for cooking, the heavy pots and pans, white porcelain ovenware, country earthenware, great tools and professional knives," Williams told the Washington Post in 2005.