Erewhon owners emerge as buyers of $23M Bel-Air mansion

Anthony and Josephine Antoci acquire home the DOJ once tried to seize

Josephine and Tony Antoci along with 755 Sarbonne Road (Getty, Facebook, Google Maps)
Josephine and Tony Antoci along with 755 Sarbonne Road (Getty, Facebook, Google Maps)

Add a Bel-Air estate to the growing Southern California real estate portfolio of Erewhon owners Anthony and Josephine Antoci.

The couple behind the ritzy organic and wellness grocer paid $22.5 million for the mansion at 755 Sarbonne Road, property records show. The Real Deal reported on the deal’s closing last month, when the buyer’s identity was unknown.

The Bel-Air purchase came on the heels of the Antocis’ $15.5 million sale of 31228 Broad Beach Road in Malibu. They still have a footprint on the street, with a nearby home they paid $20 million for in September. There’s also a Brentwood property they acquired in 2018 from the late Betty Warner, daughter of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Warner, for $13.7 million. 

Chatter about the Sarbonne Road home had amplified in the years before the Antocis’ purchase.

The Department of Justice attempted to seize the Bel-Air estate, alleging it was bought with money from a bribery scheme tied to Nigerian businessman Kolawole Aluko, according to court documents filed in Texas district court.

Thomas Flohr, the founder and chair of private jet company VistaJet, became the home’s owner to reportedly settle a debt with Aluko. The trade ultimately placed Flohr, a Swiss billionaire, in the hot seat as the DOJ attempted to seize the property. 

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Flohr ultimately settled with the government in 2022, paying $16 million to stave off the seizure and denied any wrongdoing, according to court documents. He listed the property that same year for $63 million.

For the Antocis, the expanding real estate footprint parallels Erewhon’s own rapid growth.

The grocer is frequented by a number of celebrities and has built a following just as much for its eyebrow-raising prices as its organic and all natural product selection. A full membership runs $200 annually, while smoothie collaborations generate social media buzz, with the latest creation a $23 peaches and cream drink by Kendall Jenner.

Erewhon, an anagram of the Samuel Butler novel “Nowhere,” received an undisclosed investment from New York private equity and venture capital firm Stripes in 2019.   

Earlier this year Erewhon paid $12.4 million for a site previously occupied by Virgil’s Hardware Home Center in Glendale, with plans to open its 11th store on the site late next year. The owner-user strategy marks a departure from the chain’s usual MO of locating in established retail centers.

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