Ritz Guggiana was born and raised in Santa Rosa and took over Ritz Food Service, a 44-year-old family owned business. Ritz Food Service was the North Bays largest independent food distributor, serving customers from San Diego to Reno to the Oregon border. In 2005, Ritz created Sonoma Direct as a subsidiary of his distribution company.
At the time, Sonoma Direct served as one of the only USDA-inspected meat plants in northern California which butchered whole animals raised on small, local farms. Sonoma Direct was a poioneer in local food system innovation and educating the public on the importance of farm-to-table eating. It also piloted a meat CSA with UC Cooperative Extension, which facilitated over 300 members buying meat direct from local ranches. Today Ritz Guggiana offers business consulting to local entrepreneurs through his firm, RG Consulting Services.