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Success stories

Plum Blossom Farm, Cloverdale

“Sonoma artisan expands web presence”

Plum Blossom Farm is an artisan retail company that creates decorative and functional fiber products. Using the exceptionally unique wool from her flock of Wensleydale sheep, owner Carole Balala creates items such as wool scarves, purses, dryer balls, felted soaps, and ornaments. PBF also sells kits to crafters and raw fiber to people who spin their own yarn.
Unlike other farms, animals at PBF are guaranteed a forever home, and no animals are ever sent to slaughter when they are done being “useful.” Carole sees her animals as members of the family, and customers can feel good knowing their dollars support a small compassionate farm.

Napa Valley Bistro, Napa

“Experienced Napa county chef opens new bistro”

Executive Chef of Silverado Brewing Company, Bernardo Ayala, is a long term client of the SBDC who has taken advantage of the Napa-Sonoma program for several years. During that time, he has attended workshops and worked with Business Advisor Charlie Monahan to meet his businesses goals in food and labor costs, as well as in management functions such as meetings. In early spring of 2013, Bernardo contacted Advisor Monahan with the idea of creating an American Bistro in a vacant restaurant in downtown Napa. Bernardo requested assistance organizing tasks, creating a calendar timeline and a process of determining the feasibility of opening the restaurant.

Munselle Civil Engineering, Healdsburg

“Engineering firm achieves 88% annual growth”

Munselle Civil Engineering is a consulting civil engineering firm that offers a full range of civil engineering and land planning services from preliminary design through construction. Owner, Cort Munselle, began working as a licensed civil engineer in 2000 and opened Munselle Civil Engineering in 2007. MCE’s experience includes subdivision entitlements and design, private residential estates, commercial development, vineyard erosion control plans, reservoir design and winery site design.

It is the goal of the company to provide innovative and cost effective engineering while providing the client with the highest level of customer service. They establish working relationships with each client by providing timely and efficient project turnaround through quality engineering design. MCE’s experience with regulatory agencies in Sonoma and Napa counties helps clients understand and manage the various complicated processes throughout the engineering stages of development and creates a more positive experience through the life of each job.

Carol Boeddiker Designs, Napa

“Sonoma artisan refocuses market to improve sales”

Carol Boeddiker is an Independent Representative for Silpada Designs Jewelry. Carol is sole owner and conducts a home based business selling her goods at targeted, niche market trade shows, home parties, and online.

Alley 6 Craft Distillery, Healdsburg

“Sustainable distillery enjoys successful start-up”

Alley 6 is a small batch whiskey distillery located in Healdsburg, CA. The company strives to make sure that every step in their distillation process is sustainably and responsibly managed, and all of the spirits are made using the best organic grain sourced as locally as possible. The entire distillation process is done in-house every step of the way to ensure the highest quality product.

Their first source of rye will be from family and friends in Montana, who are already raising the crop they need. In the future, they hope to purchase more locally sourced grains.

Ace It Bike Tours, Sonoma County

Ace It Bike Tours is a Sonoma based bike tour company offering multiple ways for a tourist to enjoy Sonoma County or San Francisco by bike. Three signature tours are offered: the Sonoma Bike’n Brew Tour, the San Francisco Bike Tour and the Sonoma Wine Country Bike Tour. Ace It also serves the independent traveler by renting everything needed for independent biking: bike plus helmet, handlebar bag, lock, gear rack with insulated bag, water bottle cage, customized bike map, spare tube and pump. Bike car racks are also available for rent. Ace It supports family bike trips by offering child-sized bikes as well and delivery of bikes to local hotels.

Riverbed Yoga, Guerneville

Riverbed Yoga is a small yoga studio located in the resort town of Guerneville, CA (population 5,000). Owner Joan Hawley McClain’s passion is making yoga accessible to everyone and she strives to provide a welcoming environment to enhance both the yoga and community.

Riverbed Yoga offers instruction for the beginner to advanced level student. Specialized private lessons are targeted to couples who want to connect through breath and movement or individuals with chronic health issues who need a session tailored to specific needs.

Treats for Chickens, Cotati

Treats for Chickens hatched in 2009 in West Petaluma, CA.

Those who knew Dawn thought she had simply lost her mind. She gracefully gave notice to her employer of an agency in the federal government in San Francisco to make treats for backyard pet chickens. She traded in her heels, water cooler humor and 9-5 for mud boots, for chicken manure and the greatest tasting eggs this side of the Mississippi.

Napa School of Music, Napa

The Napa School of Music is a private music school owned by Peter & Victoria Sykes which opened in 2005. All styles of music are taught, including classical, rock, jazz, flamenco, pop and metal.  Instruction is offered on accordion, bass, cello, clarinet, drums, flute, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, piano, saxophone, steel guitar, trombone, tuba, ukulele, upright bass, viola, violin, and voice. Music programs include: Garage Band 101 for kids and adults, Rhythm, Melody & Harmony: a music foundation class for K-2 and Songwriting 101.

West Accounting Services, Napa

After analyzing the needs of small and mid-sized companies, Lisa realized that few business owners were taking time to understand and to properly create their financial statements. Lisa developed West Accounting Services with the goal of providing the much-needed service of education and financial records development and management. The company provides full bookkeeping service, payroll, financial analysis, and consulting for small to mid-size companies in the greater Napa and surrounding counties. Lisa provides a unique service by working in the client’s office; no need for the business owner to lose work time. And Lisa is on-site to ask and answer important questions.