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Stop, shop and say goodbye to Barbara Wiggins and the Mustard Seed.

It’s pretty well known that Barbara has decided to retire to a life of fulfilling “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” and will be closing the doors to the Mustard Seed on Saturday, April 27.

What is not known is that she also has hopes and dreams about many people in this wonderful Napa Valley community – who have supported and enabled her to exist for 37 years – many taking time to make one last stop by the store to say ‘thank you’ to her and her staff.

No matter how many times she’s asked about her secret to success, it always comes back to the support received from her “family.”

Not clients, vendors, customers, staff – only family. It was never about “customer/client service,” but always about treating everyone who walked in the door like family.

I’ve never even shared this story with her, but the first time I visited the Mustard Seed was more than 15 years ago with my mom—who was visiting from Michigan.

We were hanging out in the old First Street shopping center after having breakfast at Gillwoods, and as I ventured in to see Jay at Williamson & Co., my mom ventured into a women’s clothing department at another store I will not identify.

Reason being is that my mother left that department store feeling a little hurt and disappointed at the thought of not being welcomed.

We then walked into the Mustard Seed, and the world was right once again. Two or three outfits later she could not have been happier, and it was more a ‘thank you’ to the treatment she received versus the items I had purchased for her.

Because of that day – and due to my mother’s love for the Queen of Soul – I’ve always viewed Barbara as the Aretha Franklin of downtown business owners. Getting to know her over the next 15 years, especially the last five, proved her worthy of the royalty tag.

Please stop by to celebrate Barbara and the Mustard Seed. Let’s get her retirement off to a great start by making sure there’s nothing left for her to take away but cherished memories.

Thank you, Barbara, and please enjoy your amazing life after the Mustard Seed.

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Travis Stanley is the president and CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Call 226-7455 or visit napachamber.com.

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