ONCE Somerville


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Kristina Kehrer's picture

A Chat with Owner, JJ Gonson

Cambridge native, JJ Gonson, has found Nirvana! Although an accurate statement, it may be a bit overstated.

In the nineties, during the height of the “grunge years,” Gonson lived on the West Coast where she produced, managed, and toured with rock bands. It was during this incarnation that she experienced (hung with) Seattle grunge heroes, Nirvana.

In a side note of more rock cred, Gonson’s sister, Claudia, is a member of the much revered indie pop band, Magnetic Fields.

Finding nirvana as a small business owner in this decade of corporate, big-box, venture capitalism might be considered an overstatement, but Gonson has done it.

At 156 Highland Avenue in Somerville, she found a building where all her creative loves have merged into a small business, and a place of reinforcement in the battle to build community, in these transitional times.

Gonson refers to ONCE Somerville as a recreational center for grown-ups. It is a large hall, decorated by the vision of an artist, that host a variety of shows and events, which are catered by her “locavore” catering company, Cuisine en Locale.