• 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Napa vs. Sonoma

    Napa and Sonoma counties are remarkably similar on paper. They appear as next-door neighbors sharing a mountain range on the map, and rivers, valleys and fertile agricultural areas define the topography of both. Yet each has its own distinct character, drawing visitors from around the world, seeking a taste of an enviable lifestyle. The big question for travelers is which one to choose.

    » 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Wine and Weather

    There’s no argument that the wine in your glass showcases the skill of the winemaker. Yet it was Mother Nature who engineered the growing season that made it all possible. Rain at the right time and in the right amount, the absence of damaging frost, the welcome cooling from the marine layer after a string of hot days––these fluctuations of the weather all contributed to the flavors in the bottle.

    » 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

  • Keeping It 100

    Scribe Winery, located at the end of a palm tree-paved Dresel Road in Sonoma, has found a way to attract the seemingly ever-elusive Millennial market. The winery, both rural and trendy, is often frequented by young wine enthusiasts, eager for Rosé all day. The relaxed vibe at Scribe removes the intimidation factor of wine, making it a popular stop for the 20- and 30-something crowd.

    » read more

  • A Passion for Perfection

    David Stare, founder of Dry Creek Vineyard, is sitting across from me at his vineyard garden. His demeanor is considerate and responsible, stable and kind. But, if it were not for his passion, this iconic winery would not be celebrating its 45th anniversary; and the Dry Creek Valley would almost certainly not be known for its Sauvignon Blanc, the most planted white grape in the area.

    » read more

  • Wine Trends

    Thirteen years ago on October 4, the movie “Sideways” was released, dramatically changing the course of wine consumption for two varietals—Merlot and Pinot Noir—and underscoring the fact that there are, indeed, trends in wine just as there are trends in fashion.

    » 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

  • 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

  • Going Solo

     The simple definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risk to do so, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary. Dig deeper and you find a passionate person with a high emotional quotient, or EQ, who follows his or her own path to problem-solving to ensure success.


    » 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

Fire Recovery Business Resources and a Comprehensive List of Links

 Thank you to all who have reached out to the NorthBay biz family during the fires. Although our offices are located very near to the Coffey park area, our building was not burned. On Monday 10/16, we were able to get back into the building.

Unfortunately, we have family and friends that have been severely impacted. The business & general community is hard at work to help those affected by the North Bay fires.
We\\\'re also back in action and back to supporting local businesses so in turn, they can help revitalize our region and recover from this disaster. We have received good information from local business sources and compiled a comprehensive list of information for you to review and share in an effort to spread the word.

This includes information on dealing with property loss, taxes, finances, business relocation, where to volunteer and donate to local organizations and funds, etc.

If you have new information please send it to info@northbaybiz.com

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

Grape Growers Add Labor Crisis to Harvest Checklist

Will it rain? It’s going to be another hot one. The fog hung around all day. Most years, weather concerns take center stage as the winegrape harvest nears. However, this harvest season, a new focus of attention has dominated the tailgate chats and vine row walks—labor.

Joseph Swan Winery

When Swan retired from a career as a World War II pilot in Europe as well as a commercial pilot for Western Air, he developed a passion for fine food and wine. In 1967, he purchased the property and began making wine from the property’s remaining Zinfandel vines.

Martinelli Vineyards & Winery

Giuseppe Martinelli was only 19 when he eloped with his 16-year-old bride, Luisa Vellutini. Young Giuseppe came from a lineage of Italian winemakers, but that pedigree didn’t satisfy Luisa’s parents, who grew and sold apples in Tuscany. But status didn’t matter to the star-crossed lovers, who escaped their families’ wrath and landed in the Russian River Valley in the 1880s. On a single hill 60 degrees steep, Giuseppe planted Zinfandel and Muscat Alexandria vines. This plot became the heart of Martinelli Vineyards & Winery, which continues to produce for the fifth generation of Martinellis.

Top Napa Valley Cab Francs

We recently hosted a most interesting tasting. The agenda was to blindly evaluate the best 17 Cabernet Francs we could identify from the Napa Valley. An august panel gathered inside the lovely Brix restaurant wine cellar in Napa for dinner and wine tasting at about 6:30 one evening, and kept each other’s attention with commentary and observations until nearly 10 p.m.

Laurel Glen Vineyard

Glen Ellen is an enchanting village in the heart of the Sonoma Valley with a timeless feel, a place where you half expect to encounter Jack London and his wife, Charmian, who once lived in the area on Beauty Ranch. It’s also home to Laurel Glen Vineyard, located a thousand feet up the slopes of Sonoma Mountain, and long considered one of the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards of California. Originally planted in the 1880s, no doubt the Londons once enjoyed wine from the same vines on Sonoma Mountain.

Mike Martini

The former mayor of Santa Rosa (from 2000 to 2002), Mike Martini, partner at Taft Street Winery in Sebastopol, can’t decide if he’s a vintner who has a passion for public policy, or a policy wonk who loves to make wine.



In this Issue

Going Solo

 The simple definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risk to do so, according to the New Oxford Ameri...

Going Solo

 The simple definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risk to do so, according to the New Oxford Ameri...

Wine and Weather

There’s no argument that the wine in your glass showcases the skill of the winemaker. Yet it was Mother Nature who engineered the growing season that made it all possible. Rain at the right ti...

See all...