July 14, 2020
link to facebook link to twitter

Looking through the glass at Arch’s for 55 years

By: Irene Hilsendager
March 15, 2019

Arch’s Glass for many years an old store front in Cotati has decided to move to 7525 Redwood Dr., Rohnert Park where the show room and warehouse space is humongous; room for everyone to move around and do their jobs without bumping into each other. 

The founder, best known as a former Cotati City Councilman and mayor of Cotati, Arch Stewart has passed on but the family siblings have kept the business going without Arch for the last eight years.

Rick Stewart works alongside his brother Ken, mother JoAnn and daughter Caitlin and ten other employees. Arch’s Glass is also known for their custom shower doors. The service department makes up to six to eight service calls a day and if they do a custom job it may take all day. 

Arch’s Glass has quite a history behind the story. As most young fellows around Cotati worked on chicken farms, so did Archie. After high school he joined the U.S. Navy but only got in on the last part of World War II. It seemed there wasn’t enough excitement for Archie, he connected with the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea. Upon returning to the states, he worked for a short while in San Francisco for a glass company but Archie became very restless. That put him inside the California Highway Patrol group for 10 years in Los Angeles until being transferred to Sonoma County, but the glass business still very much intrigued the very private person that Archie was. 

Deciding to open a glass shop and start a business in Cotati took him to quite a few different addresses in town. He was on Derby, Henry, Valparaiso and then to the store front on the plaza. Rick says he remembers the old chicken wire that was put on the awning to keep the pigeons away. It depends on who is telling the story but some say the store front was an old feed store and others will say it was an old grocery store-just depends who was living in Cotati at the time.

Jud Snyder, the veteran Community Voice reporter, who also has passed on, said that Archie had a knack of cutting through all the stilted language since Stewart was also on the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Stewart say it was hard to leave Cotati but he is excited to be in a new location, looking forward to see the showroom set up and with more room for the guys and be comfortable while doing their jobs. 

Arch’s Glass has many vendors but Milgard seems to be the largest one. With all of the vendor trucks driving in and out to unload, Rick say he is not missing the traffic and hustle and bustle of vendors waiting to unload their merchandise.