Strictly Business: Sonoma Valley business news, Jan. 25

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Job change: Al Minero, the longtime manager of Sonoma Market, is now the store director of Pacific Market in Santa Rosa. He recently posted on Facebook that the store is offering its family discount to all government employees affected by the shut down.

New gym: A soft (re)opening is underway for Sonoma’s Fitness Factory. The gym is now located at 999 W. Spain St. and taking new members. A grand opening and community open house is planned for next month. Details to follow. Email

Peckish expansion: Peckish, the first-to-market “perfectly boiled” free-range egg snack from Sonoma Brands, is now available in the refrigerated snack and dairy sections at select retailers across the country, and online sales began this week at Each pack features two eggs paired with a crunchy dip.

Anniversary: Savannah Halby opened Sav’s Browtique last year at the age of 22 and she is currently celebrating the salon’s first anniversary. Her salon offers a variety of microblading and machine shading services. She says that she books out months in advance and recently won an award for “Best Up and Coming Professional in the Industry” at a worldwide permanent makeup conference. Halby is Sonoma native, Sonoma Valley High, class of 2014. 17 Mountain Ave.

Bohemian Highway news: In addition to partnering with MacArthur Place, locally-owned and operated Bohemian Highway wine tours has expanded into corporate itinerary planning for groups up to 150 people (think Google). Joe Diggins has joined the company as a managing partner. Diggins lives in Sonoma and is also president of Sonoma Soccer.

New offerings from Hanson Vodka: Learn how to infuse vodka and create killer craft cocktails at the Hanson distillery in Sonoma. Sign up for a course at Hanson has also announced that it is opening a new tasting room in Marin in Sausalito on Feb. 1.

Renovation: Sonoma Speakeasy on the Plaza is still in process of its remodel. Owner Jodi Stevens says she expects to reopen in March.

Wine challenge: The seventh annual North Coast Wine Challenge is open for entries and will now include the opportunity for wineries to enter barrel samples that will compete for a new “Wine of the Future” award. Only wines produced and bottled by wineries with North Coast AVAs are eligible. To enter, visit

State of the County: The 2019 Annual Report to the Community will take place from 7 to 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park.

Mapping Sonoma’s vineyards: Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance has launched an initiative to identify and map all of the vineyards of the Sonoma Valley wine region. The first map will be presented at Signature Sonoma Valley event this spring. Author Antonio Galloni and cartographer Alessandro Masnaghetti will lead the project.

Sonoma Raceway: Sonoma raceway has introduced a new Victory Lane (fan) Club with discounts on tickets, parking and more. Fans can choose one of three tiers, ranging from $59 to $199, depending on desired amenities.

For rent: The 1930s craftsman cottage at 369 W. Napa St. that formerly housed the Wine Country Channel is now for lease. The 1,333-square-foot space on 16,472-square-foot lot is available for $3,100 month. Contact Bill Fridl of U-Write for more information.

More flights: American Airlines is adding flights to Dallas and L.A. from Sonoma County Airport beginning in May and June, respectively. Other cities added for 2019 include Denver and Minneapolis.

EV news: As part of the Sonoma County Airport parking lot renovation and expansion, the airport now offers ChargePoint electric vehicle (EV) charging stations located in both the long-term parking lot and in front of the airport terminal, and Tesla charging stations in its long-term parking lot.

New board member: Sonoma Land Trust has welcomed Jennifer Bice, founder of Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery in Sebastopol, to its board.

Tourism: Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) has announced the second phase of its new “Life Opens Up” campaign. The $1 million online advertising rebranding began Jan. 7. “Life Opens Up” plays on the idea of letting wine breathe — or open up. The campaign uses wine-tasting terminology to describe Sonoma County to visitors. SCT worked with its agency, MMGY Global, to create the brand and advertising that is based on surveys and focus groups of more than 1,000 consumers, residents and stakeholders.

Nominations: Nominations are open for North Bay Business Journal’s annual Community Philanthropy Awards. The honor recognizes companies and individuals for monetary contributions, volunteering time or participation in events. Enter a nomination at (right column) before Monday, Feb. 4. Nominations are also open now for the publication’s “Forty Under 40” awards.

No receipts: California may become the first state to require businesses to offer electronic receipts as the default unless customers ask for paper copies under new proposed legislation.

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