The Rock Store in Cornell California

A view of a snow covered mountain

The Rock Store serves traditional Italian foods made from fresh ingredients and the featured dish, Spaghetti Bolognese, is made using spaghetti sauce from tomato sauce.

On the corner of Mulholland Highway and Rodeo Drive, the Rock Store is located. Here you’ll find over 60 stores selling Italian goods, as well as many specialty food shops. For example, they sell Italian wine, meat, fish, poultry, and cheeses. If you want to buy more conventional groceries such as eggs, milk, and bread, then you can do so right in the Rock Store. There’s even a coffee shop inside the restaurant that serves specialty blends of coffee.

Mario Marzan

A close up of a hillside next to a rock

The Rock Store was established by Mario Marzan along with his cousin Gennaro Marzan. They opened their first Italian grocery store in Coventry, Massachusetts. They changed their name to the Rock Store in Beverly Hills, and later to the Rock Store again when they decided to open an Italian restaurant business in the mountains. The business lasted for two decades until it was suddenly closed down in 1990 because of the threat of terrorism.

The owner of the Rock Store, Mario Marzan, came back to the United States to open the Rock Store in Cornell. The name of the store was inspired by a dream that Marzan had once seen in a book about a mountain station in southern California. Since then, the Rock Store has expanded to include a second floor. The restaurant and first floor now serve as the only grocery store for the area.

The Cornell University Campus

A store inside of a building

The Rock Store’s proximity to two major freeways, the expressway and the highway combine to make it the perfect place for people to spend their money. Several hundred cars a day take advantage of the many gas stations, video stores, movie theatres, and fast food restaurants that line the streets of the suburban area. A lot of the shoppers come here from the surrounding communities. Also, the proximity to the main street in Cornell, MA also helps the Rock Store draw a lot of out-of-towners.

It’s possible that you’ve already spotted the Rock Store. It stands on the corner of Wye Bridge Road just north of the intersection of Fairfield Street. However, it’s also possible that you have never even noticed it. If you drive past the store on your way to the Cornell University campus, you will see a huge billboard advertising a giant gas station. In addition to that, several small advertisements for pizza restaurants, fast food franchises, ice cream stores, bookstores, and liquor stores can also be seen on your way up the road.

The Ever-Popular Advertising Campaign

It’s possible that the sign is simply a part of the ever-popular advertising campaign. Other possible sources of the sign’s inspiration could be the nearby Wye Bridge Road and the Route 41 highway, which are both major thoroughfares in the town of hornchurch. 

Some of the signs may even have a resemblance to the rock song “Mr. Tambourine man.” Since the rock song is about a truck driver who travels the country singing about the good old country life, some people may have assumed that this particular biker icon would have inspired the store’s naming.


There is no conclusive evidence to support this theory, but plenty of people enjoy thinking about where the Rock Store came from. A quick search of the internet will turn up several possible locations in Sonoma and also a possible address. A search for “Wye bridge Road stagecoach stop” will turn up several websites related to the store and a spot for a free photo shoot. The rock store is not the first place that you might find such a name, as several other grocery stores have made the same claim.

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