• Truffles

    In February 2017, a dog named Ilsa discovered the first-ever cultivated European Tuber melanosporum, or the Périgord truffle, in Sonoma County.


    » read more

  • Rocking the Wine World

    Sonoma Cast Stone in Petaluma has been making concrete fermentation tanks for eight years. Owner Steve Rosenblatt started his company 20 years ago to create concrete for custom walls, countertops and sinks––what he refers to now as the “architectural” side of his business.


    » read more

  • Russian River Brewing Co.

    If you happen to drive down Fourth Street in Santa Rosa, chances are you’ll see a line of people around the block, waiting outside the Russian River Brewing Company. Hoping to try some of the most famous beers in the world, locals and tourists wait as long as two hours, for a chance at a bar stool, table or even a bench spot on the front patio to enjoy a cold one. Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo spent years perfecting their fiercely desired and crafty beers, poured and produced in Sonoma County.
    Since opening their doors for business 20 years ago, Russian River Brewing Company has made a dramatic impact on the beer world—not to mention the economy—in Sonoma County. The brewing company is notably famous for their double IPA Pliny The Elder and perpetually sought-after Pliny The Younger, a triple IPA released annually for a two-week period, beginning on the first Friday of February. More than 300,000 visitors make the pilgrimage to the holy land of hops each year. In 2016, the economic impact infused nearly $5 million into the county.


    » read more

  • The Ancient Practice of Biodynamic Farming

    Seeking stronger relationships with the Earth and ways to express truly unique terroirs, winemakers and vineyard owners across Napa and Sonoma are embracing biodynamics —“organics on steroids”—in record numbers. In fact, Sonoma County has more than 20 certified Biodynamic farms and vineyards—more than any other county in the United States.


    » read more

  • Budding Business

    The legalization of the cannabis market is predicted to generate more than $20 billion in U.S. sales, but rules and regulations are still in a state of flux.


    » read more

  • Balancing Act

    Striking a balance between work and home life is a challenge for today’s workers. A Pew Research Study conducted in 2012 showed that half of all working parents with children under 18 found juggling competing priorities difficult, and one-third thought they were spending too little time with their children. Work tends to occupy the greatest part of the day, and it’s the way many people define themselves, so job satisfaction is important.


    » read more

  • Immunotherapy

    David Ebright received the news that makes your mind go blank one December day in 2013. “When somebody says ‘cancer,’ I stop listening very well,” says David, who is the public affairs manager of Kaiser Permanente Marin-Sonoma. “I want to listen, but am just not capable.”  The week before, he had mentioned in the course of a routine check-up that he’d seen a drop of blood in his urine. They immediately sent him for a scan. That day, David was sitting in the urologist’s office dazed, as the doctor explained to his wife, Marsha, the treatment plan that would involve removal of the small tumor, making sure the cancer had not spread, and then a course of treatments, beginning four months later, that would arm his immune system to fight against any cancer returning to the bladder.  It would be a targeted, specific approach that would enable his body to heal. The treatment: immunotherapy.


    » read more

  • How To Protect Your Small Business

    Your small business is humming along smoothly, providing a service or product that’s keeping your bottom line—and your customers—happy. Suddenly, a serious issue arises with an employee, a vendor, or a business partner. Chances are it will lead to a thorny legal problem you’d prefer to avoid but forced to confront.

    Now what?


    » read more

  • Buck Institute for Education

    Kids clustered in groups, sharing ideas and discussing issues, is an increasingly common sight in schools these days. It’s project-based learning (PBL) in action, as the orderly rows of neat desks that once defined how children learned make way for new methods in teaching that give students the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge to prepare them for the challenges of life beyond school. It’s a transition that’s reshaping education, and it’s been a long time coming. “School has not changed much over the past 100 years,” says Bob Lenz, executive director of the Buck Institute for Education in Novato.


    » read more

  • Balancing Work & Health

    Once considered an added perk to offer employees to boost morale, reduce stress, and increase productivity, corporate wellness programs are evolving as the state of health in the American workforce continues to decrease significantly. Today, 86 million adult Americans have pre-diabetes and 34.6 percent are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


    » read more

  • Gorgeous Getaways

    Whether perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or tucked away amongst mountain top vineyards, there is no shortage of luxury hotel offerings in Napa and Sonoma. For those seeking a more intimate and unique experience, boutique luxury hotel and resorts are plentiful.


    » read more

  • Breast Health Update

    Marin County hit a dubious milestone in 2001. It reached its peak as a hot spot for breast cancer, cementing its reputation as the county with the highest rate of the disease in the nation. The following year the Women’s Health Initiative released results from a long-term national study that showed a strong correlation between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer, and doctors responded quickly to find alternatives, causing the rate to drop.


    » read more

  • Marin's Farmers Market

    On a cloudy Sunday, the Marin Civic Center Farmers Market is jammed by rows of booths, with farmers and ranchers side by side. Brewers of the bean are doing a conspicuous business as couples walking hand-in- hand and chefs shopping for inspiration and fresh ingredients hold steaming cups, as if Saturday night and Sunday morning landed closer together than the clock suggests.


    » read more

  • All in the Family

    Twenty-one years ago, Gurcharan Singh Chandi left Punjab in his native India for America, searching for a more prosperous life. By 2000, he had saved enough to bring his wife and four children from India to join him.


    » read more

  • Health, Happiness & Prosperity

    Let’s be honest, Marin carries a reputation. From the outside, it’s chock full of drum circles, versions of yoga that haven’t been invented yet and aura readings. The county just north of the Golden Gate is credited with knowing the difference between chi and chai and snuggling New Age culture so close to its bosom it’s practically old hat.
    And while some Marinites might chafe at a status linking their hometown with a sacred journey to find a state of Zen, others take those organic free-trade lemons and make lemonade.
    Hello, Marin General Hospital.  


    » read more

  • Single Thread

    The buzz among foodies about SingleThread Farm-Restaurant-Inn started long before it became reality. Plans for the newest ultra-dining experience in Sonoma County were first announced two-and-a-half years ago, when the impressive two-story structure going up at the corner of North and Center streets in Healdsburg was nearing completion. For decades the town’s post office had stood on that corner, one block north of the Plaza, as a long-time community hub. But it was destroyed by fire in 2010.


    » read more

  • Wine, Women & Shoes

    Imagine you’re at a fancy ladies’ soiree, enjoying wine, food, shopping and wearing your most glamorous shoes, while learning about the people you’ll help each time you open your wallet. You’re immersed in an atmosphere of fun, fashion and compassion. Welcome to the world of Wine Women & Shoes (WW&S), and a new kind of fundraising event. (Gentlemen are welcome, too, of course.)


    » read more

  • Say Cheese!

    While California is known worldwide for its wine, in recent years it has gained increasing attention for its cheese. Claiming to be “America’s Dairyland,” Wisconsin proudly led the dairy industry for years, placing California in the number two spot. In 1994, the torch was passed. California along with our happy Holstein cows obtained the number one spot in dairy production, to become an artisanal cheese haven undoubtedly on the rise. Here’s a look at a few of the local cheese companies along the North Bay cheese trail.


    » read more

  • In Search of the American Dream

    Buying a house for the first time is a significant milestone for a young couple. It shows the desire to put down roots and become part of a community, and a home of their own gives them a meaningful place to make memories.


    » read more

  • North Bay Construction: What's Driving Costs?

    If construction is the indicator of the economic health of a place, then the North Bay is booming. Just about everything is going up—value, cost, demand as well as effort to contain the impact of that demand. Business, if possible, is almost too good for people in the construction industry. There is such demand and so much work, that those in the industry are doing exceptionally well, but, some, because of the rising costs, are losing out.


    » read more

  • Reunited: Santa Rosa Courthouse Square

    NorthBay biz went to several businesses around the square to assess business owner’s opinions now that the square is finally open after a six-month delay for rain and construction.


    » read more

  • Going Solar

    The solar industry had a $154 billion impact on the U.S. economy in 2016, according to data released in March 2017 by The Solar Foundation. The Solar Energy Industries Association reported the average installation costs have dropped by more than 70 percent since 2010, providing the opportunity for the industry to expand into new markets and set-up thousands of solar systems throughout the nation.


    » read more

  • Rebranding

    The fear of getting stale has many businesses looking at freshening up their brand—a process that requires much more than a simple logo redesign or new tagline, according to Trini Amador, managing partner of BHC Consulting. BHC is a Healdsburg-based brand strategy team that develops, refreshes or consults on global brand strategy or research projects for hundreds of global, regional and local brands.


    » read more

  • Driven To Succeed

    To call Sonoma Raceway a track is an understatement. The year-round motorsports complex is home to 75 businesses in 104 shops, a performance racing school, a kart track, several campgrounds, 44 pit stalls, a café and gift store, as well as a myriad of food and beverage vendors during events. The complex, sitting on 1,630 acres of land.


    » read more

  • It's The Law

    The state legislature seems to be working overtime to write, revise, refresh and get bills passed that secure the trend toward better pay, benefits, equality and hiring practices for employees—which could be bad news for employers. Currently, five new pieces of legislation have been working their way through the state legislature this year and are at various stages of approval or revision.


    » read more

North Bay News and Stories

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Handline

Handlining is a technique where a single fishline is held in the hands. It’s also a sustainable form of fishing and the inspiration behind Handline Coastal California cuisine in Sebastopol. “We wanted to connect Sebastopol with the coastline,” says Natalie Goble, co-proprietor with her partner, Lowell Sheldon. “The inspiration was coastal California, and first and foremost, fresh seafood.”

The Promising Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is probably the most powerful herb on the planet to treat and prevent many of the diseases that commonly affects us. There is a long history of its use in Ayurvedic medicine (a holistic, whole-body healing system) to treat inflammatory disorders, indigestion, throat infections, the common cold and liver ailments. It’s also used topically to cleanse wounds and treat skin conditions.

Six Strategies for Branding Your Company

Branding gives each company its own personality, and physical promotional items are a key component of a healthy marketing strategy. It’s an easy way to promote your company, and make an impression on your clients.

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DaVero Farms & Winery

Ask Ridge Evers how he happened to venture into the wine business, and he’ll tell you it was serendipity. In 1982, he’d just graduated from business school and was living in San Francisco when he came to Sonoma County for a weekend getaway and found a parcel of land on Westside Road in Dry Creek Valley.

Cannabis & Cancer: What Do We Really Know?

 As an oncologist in Sonoma County for more than a quarter century, I see nearly 100 patients with cancer every week. As their doctor, care involves treating, counseling, supporting and listening to them. More than a third of those diagnosed with cancer will die from it, and no one escapes its effects on health. 

Nearly everyone diagnosed with cancer will ask these questions: How can I make this cancer go away and stay away? How can I get relief from symptoms, such as nausea, pain and poor appetite? What can I do to improve my sense of wellbeing?

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2017 BEST Local Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company

There are many flavors in a beer. There are toasty beers, skunky beers, hoppy beers and citrus-y beers. The list goes on forever. But at the end of the day, nobody comes back if they don’t think it’s a tasty beer. And nobody knows how to brew tasty beers better than Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, the husband-wife pair who own Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa.

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Zach Adelman

is founder and chief executive officer of Navitas Organics in Novato. “I’m originally from Toronto, Canada, but I left in 1990 and have been on the West Coast ever since,” he says. “I started working at a very young age and in many ways have always been an entrepreneur. I started with a paint contracting business in Whistler, and then an import-export business in Vancouver."

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Zialena Winery

Located in the heart of Alexander Valley in Geyserville, Zialena Winery is nestled in a field surrounded by vineyards and sweeping views of the Mayacamas. The winery opened its new tasting room in February and offers a study in contrasts. The tasting room features modern cabinetry, wood floors and smells of new construction, but Zialena is a fourth generation winery, rich in history and tradition.

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2017 BEST Catering Service: Park Avenue Catering
Voted Best Catering Service in the 2017 BEST Of the North Bay readers poll.
Chateau Montelena Winery

Located along Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, Chateau Montelena Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley. Now recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, it was established in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs, a man who made his fortune in the rope business during the Gold Rush. The Chateau is made of stone and was initially designed as a barrel-aging facility. Tubbs eventually planted vines, and by 1896 it became the seventh largest winery in Napa Valley.

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Crocodile

The French get a lot of flak for acting pretentious, and displaying feelings of superiority, but the truth is they have plenty of reason for being the envy of the world. France has a rich culinary history. And when it comes to food—whether it’s rustic peasant dishes or hauté cuisine—it’s all about fresh ingredients, culinary technique and attention to detail. If you’re in the mood for authentic French cuisine in a restaurant where you can melt into the experience and lose track of time, try the Crocodile in Petaluma.

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The Rent Control Vote: Prelude to More Conflict or Real Solutions?

The narrow defeat of rent control at the polls in Santa Rosa on June 6 must not be seen as the end of a battle about housing, but the beginning of a dialogue about priorities and political power in the North Bay. If we don’t address the fundamental reasons for the crisis that lead to the demand for rent control, today’s problems will look like child’s play in a few short years.

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Byron Enix

Byron Enix is president and chief executive officer of American AgCredit in Santa Rosa. Born in Oklahoma, he grew up in Kansas. As he explains it, his career path was relatively straightforward. “I was told by my junior high social studies teacher that I couldn’t list ‘professional football player’ as my future career,” Enix says. “So I asked my dad what he did, as up until then I didn’t really know. And although my current profession wasn’t what my Dad did, he explained that there were companies that made loans to farmers and ranchers. So I decided that’s what I wanted to do.”

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Café Lucia Restaurant

If you’re looking for a unique experience or authentic Portuguese cuisine, try Café Lucia, a hidden gem of a restaurant tucked in a tranquil space in walking distance of Healdsburg’s town square. The restaurant, owned and operated by brother-sister team, Manuel Azevedo and Lucia Azevedo Fincher, offers new Portuguese cuisine—or as they say in Portugal, cozinha nova Portuguesa.

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Letitia Hanke

Letitia Hanke is the chief executive officer and president of ARS Roofing, Solar and Electric in Santa Rosa. She grew up in Lake County and attended Sonoma State University from 1993 to 1997 with an emphasis on recording and performing arts in the music department. “I still enjoy getting away in my home studio,” she says.  With a great love for Sonoma County, Hanke and her 14-year-old son, Emil, live in Windsor where she plans to stay.

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First-time Buyers: How to Compete & Win in a Sellers’ Market

If you’ve gone through the home-buying process in the North Bay within the past few years, you know how competitive and difficult it can be. But for first-time homebuyers the process can be even more daunting and challenging. If you’re a first-time buyer, there several key steps you can take to greatly increase your chance of competing and winning in a competitive sellers’ market.

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Lowell’s

Dining at Lowell’s is both a culinary adventure and a beautiful surprise. Located on Gravenstein Highway in Sebastopol, Lowell’s is part café, deli and wine bar with a neighborhood feel, indoor-outdoor seating and a tranquil vibe. Proprietor Lowell P. Sheldon first opened for business in 2007, and the restaurant will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in October.

I Feel Better Now

Apparently, government agencies and business groups finally found something they can agree upon as a state housing official recently declared with certainty: “The ongoing gap between housing need, projected growth and actual housing development is real.” This obvious conclusion comes as no surprise to business owners in the North Bay, who’ve been struggling for several years to find and hire qualified employees.

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Markham Vineyards

Located along St. Helena Highway, Markham Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, established by Jean Laurent, an immigrant from Bordeaux, France. Laurent came to California seeking gold during the rush, but instead found his way into the winemaking business.

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Affordable Housing is Crucial to a Thriving Community

The legislation written by assembly member Marc Levine, AB 121, will extend the designation of Marin County as suburban rather than metropolitan for affordable housing zoning purposes until 2028. As a suburban-designated community, Marin will only be required to meet a housing density requirement of 20 units per acre rather than 30 units per acre.

Is your Online Reputation Costing You Business?

Your best prospects are looking for businesses like yours online. We now live in a digital age where every business must have a strong online presence if it expects to retain and attract new customers.

(Part 1 and Part 2)

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Josh Johnsen

Josh Johnsen is corporate vice president and partner at George Petersen Insurance Agency in Santa Rosa. He graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in business and an emphasis on insurance. Following in his father’s footsteps, he went to work in the insurance industry. He’s been in the insurance business for 25 years and attributes his strong work ethic to his parents.

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Investing Today

Investing is often a complicated subject. And with the proliferation of media, the over-abundance of pundits and opinions, it’s hard to know how invest in today’s world. Essentially, there are two options as to how to handle savings—consume or invest. The investment world affords two options: purchase assets, or lend your money.

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Percy Brandon

Last year’s winner of Best Business Community Leader, Percy Brandon, is general manager of Vintners Inn/John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Brandon moved to Canada in 1991, and Santa Rosa in 2000.

 

 

In this Issue

Driven To Succeed

To call Sonoma Raceway a track is an understatement. The year-round motorsports complex is home to 75 businesses in 104 shops, a performance racing school, a kart track, several campgrounds, 44 pit ...

Rebranding

The fear of getting stale has many businesses looking at freshening up their brand—a process that requires much more than a simple logo redesign or new tagline, according to Trini Amador, mana...

How To Protect Your Small Business

Your small business is humming along smoothly, providing a service or product that’s keeping your bottom line—and your customers—happy. Suddenly, a serious issue arises with an emp...

See all...