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Movers and Shakers: Business news from around the Valley, May 16


Sonoma’s Best renovations: Sonoma’s Best, now owned by Stacy and Ken Mattson, has unveiled newly renovated outdoor dining and garden space with a new fence and seating area on the east side of the building on East Napa Street. The full title of the operation is now, “Sonoma’s Best: Modern Mercantile and Guest Cottages.” Also a big part of the operation is a wine store and wine club, run by Todd Jolly.

Open bakery space: The long vacant storefront next to Curves at 248 W. Napa St. may soon be the site of another bakery and charcuterie (based on City of Sonoma postings to that effect). The site formerly housed Fiorini’s Bakery and Cakes, as well as Studebaker Cheesecake.

Starbucks: There is an active rumor going around that it will be Starbucks that moves into the site in Sonoma Marketplace currently occupied by the Sandbox consignment children’s clothing shop. When reached for comment, a Starbucks spokesperson said, “At this time, we remain focused on serving customers in the Sonoma community at our existing locations and have no store-opening plans to announce.”

New offices: The landscape architecture firm Roche and Roche has moved into new offices in Sonoma at 1055 Broadway across from Sonoma Valley High.

Hiring news: Companies that need help attracting or retaining employees can visit sonomacountyconnections.org for information for prospective employees about living and working in Sonoma County.

Business moving: Sonoma Tops & Trophies located next to Rite Aid is moving next to Wilson’s Locksmith at 820 W. Napa St. at the end of the month.

New tasting room: Fathia Vineyards has opened its first tasting room, located in the Kenwood shopping center at 8910 Sonoma Highway. Fausta Franco-Guerrero is the owner and winemaker. The tasting room is open Thursday through Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment only). fathiavineyards.com.

Another new tasting room: The spot where Catalina Beauty used to be across from the Red Grape now houses the Jeff Cohn Cellars tasting room. Cohn’s operation is based in Oakland.

Product expansion: 3 Badge Beverage Corporation has just introduced four new, single-variety mezcals to its Bozal line. Bozal, sold in select U.S. markets by the company’s spirits division, 3 Badge Mixology, now has eight artisan mezcals made from wild Mexican agave. Bozal Mezcal is available from 3 Badge Mixology, the spirits division of 3 Badge Beverage at 32 Patten St. 3badge.com.

Changes at County Tourism: Ken Fischang has resigned as president/CEO of Sonoma County Tourism. Tim Zahner, SCT’s chief marketing officer, has been named interim CEO. Fischang will be executive director of the Saugatuck Douglas Area Convention and Visitors Bureau in Michigan.

Hiring: Lots of businesses are hiring around town including Sonoma Raceway (accounting), Pets Lifeline (volunteer coordinator), Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance (office manager), Jeff Cohn Cellars (tasting room) and the Red Grape (kitchen).

Sophomore efforts: The national Sonoma-based home and style magazine Evoke, now has a website and the publishers are accepting orders for the second issue. It is being sold now in New Zealand and Canada as well as in the U.S. Spirited, the new national wine, beer and spirits magazine of Sonoma Media Investments, has a new issue out this month.

Development in Napa: First Street Napa, a 325,000-square-foot mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Napa, will incorporate 45 retail shops and restaurants, new office space, and the 183-room Archer Hotel. Stores will include the U.K.-based Lush cosmetics and Compline wine shop and bar. Occupancy is slated for early 2018.

Green business: The County of Sonoma is launching a cannabis industry permitting, taxation, and compliance program to assist cannabis businesses in preparing permit applications. The county is hosting a workshop series right now, called “Dirt to Dispensary,” to discuss all aspects of permitting, zoning, standards, inspections, enforcement, business planning, taxation, etc.

Send business news to lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.