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Business Beat: 10/15/2018

Business Beat for Oct. 15, 2018

New owner for Garden Court Café

Nick Ramponi and new Garden Court Café owner Jazmin Vargas.
Nick Ramponi and new Garden Court Café owner Jazmin Vargas.

Nick and Rosemarie Ramponi have sold the Garden Court Café in Glen Ellen to long-time employee Jazmin Vargas. The Ramponis have owned the Garden Court since 2009, but are now moving to Washington State to be closer to family.

Vargas, 24, has been working at Garden Court since she was 15 and a half. Born and raised in Sonoma, she started out busing tables on weekends, and then worked her way to serving full time when she was 17. Not long after that, she became the front/dining room manager.

“The Garden Court has always been a fun place to work - always very busy, but also very fun,” said Vargas. “Nick and Rosemarie always made sure that it was that much more special with the employee summer pool party, and our Christmas parties were always a blast. We consider us to be a big 'GCC' family.”

Chuy Martinez is the main full-time cook, Johnny Guiterrez is another one of the cooks, and Vargas' mother Olga helps out in the kitchen.

Hours and days will remain the same. “Nothing is changing,” said Vargas. “I made Rosemarie give me all her baked goods recipes!”

“I am beyond excited, but most of all I am thankful to Nick and Rosemarie for giving me the opportunity. I sure do have big 'ol boots to fill, but with the help of my fantastic team and family, everything will run as it always has.”

The Garden Court Café is located at 13647 Arnold Dr., and is open Wednesday through Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can reach them at 935-1565.

Glen Ellen Village Market sold

Glen Ellen Village Market

Nugget Market, which owns the Glen Ellen Village Market, has sold the store to Mar-Val Food Stores, effective Oct. 26.

Glen Ellen Village Market will retain its name, but no longer have a connection to Sonoma Market, which is just wrapping up an extensive remodel and will continue to be owned and operated by Nugget Market, Inc.

According to a press release, “Over the last few years, Nugget Market, Inc. determined it cannot run its characteristic scratch program in a small store format. Rather than develop a new format, the company decided to sell the single location to Mar-Val Food Stores, which has a proven track record of running small store formats.”

“Scratch program” refers to prepared food recipes that are developed and made from scratch by chef teams, including products in the deli, bakery, juice bar and some prepared meat entrees.

Lodi-based Mar-Val Food Stores is operated by Mark Kidd and Steve Rodacker, and has eight locations across Northern California. Mar-Val's website sports the motto, “Small Enough to Appreciate You - Big Enough to Serve.”

All current associates of Glen Ellen Village Market have been offered a job at other store locations operated by Nugget Market, Inc., and Mar-Val has also offered employment to all associates of the store.

The Glen Ellen Village Market is also looking to hire for all positions - checkers, meat clerks, deli clerks, etc. Apply online at or stop by the store.

“Glen Ellen will always hold a special place in my heart and the hearts of my team,” said Rebecca Reichardt, store director of Glen Ellen Village Market. “We will miss the daily interactions with our friends and guests, and count ourselves lucky to have had the opportunity to serve this very special community.”

Reichardt and her team are planning a farewell/appreciation BBQ for customers and associates on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 12-2 p.m. New ownership will begin on Friday, Oct. 26.

The Glen Ellen Village Market is located at 13751 Arnold Dr. in downtown Glen Ellen. They can be reached at 996-6728.

Celebrate recovery at local wineries

On Oct. 20-21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., four Kenwood and Glen Ellen artisan wineries will be raising money for local volunteer fire departments to support their continuing efforts in protecting Sonoma Valley.

Spann Vineyards, Paradise Ridge Winery, Muscardini Cellars and Little Vineyards will showcase some of their best wines and offer special discounts to all ticket holders.

Cost is $35 per person for advance, online tickets at, or $40 at the door.

For every participant who purchases at least one bottle of wine at each of the four wineries, the ticket proceeds will be donated to the Kenwood Firefighters Association, the Glen Ellen Firefighters Association, and the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department.

Bee-Well Farms pumpkin patch

Bee well pumpkin patch

It's pumpkin time! And you don't have to go very far to find a good-looking pumpkin. Bee-Well Farms in Glen Ellen has a pumpkin patch at its 101 Trinity Road location, right off Sonoma Highway.

There are many varieties and sizes of pumpkins to choose from - find a perfect pumpkin for everyone in the family.

The pumpkin patch will be open the weekends of Oct. 13-14, Oct. 20-21, and Oct. 27-28. The Oct. 13-14 weekend features food, games, and animal experiences as part of Sonoma County's Farm Trails.

Bee-Well Farms was started in 2015 by Austin and Melissa Lely, with the mission to produce and sell a range of wholesome products for the local community, while using a holistic management approach to enhance the land and farm ecosystem.

Any questions? Contact Bee-Well Farms at 217-7788, or, or go to

Deerfield's Oktoberfest includes dress donations

Deerfield Ranch Winery's Oktoberfest - California style - includes wine tasting, a chili cook-off, bocce ball, and a BBQ. There will be art exhibits by resident artist Fred Parker, Amy Nelder of Chloe Gallery, and Star Wars art by Manwell Gail of Laced Up Metal. In addition, The Dresser, a pop-up dress shop, will be back with fall fashions at the weekend-long party, Oct. 27 and 28, noon to 4 p.m. both days.

Deerfield is celebrating its 36th harvest in Sonoma Valley this year, and will be offering a matching discount on wines from the vault over the weekend. If you are interested in entering the chili cook-off, there are only 24 spots available, 12 for Saturday, and 12 for Sunday. The winners of this year's chili cook-off will receive a magnum of wine to drink with their chili.

Earlier this year, The Dresser issued $200 gift certificates for Sonoma Valley residents who lost their homes in the 2017 fires. If you haven't redeemed your certificate, please come to Oktoberfest. If you are unable to attend, contact to schedule an appointment. In May, The Dresser had a pop-up show with spring fashions at Deerfield and was able to dress over 45 fire victims. Donations are being accepted for the fall show at Deerfield.

The winery is located at 10200 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood. The Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom Society, a nonprofit organization, is sponsoring the show and donations are tax deductible.

The weekend festivities benefit the Kenwood wetlands, a wildlife habitat. General admission is $50 and includes food and drink tickets. Proceeds benefit the restoration of the Kenwood Marsh, home of the endangered Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom. Go to to buy tickets.

Any questions? Email Bill at

New manager at Flatbed Farm

Hayley Cutri, new farm manager at Flatbed Farms
Hayley Cutri, new farm manager at Flatbed Farms

Flatbed Farm in Glen Ellen recently announced Hayley Cutri as the new farm manager, replacing Rachel Kohn Obut, who is moving her farming skills to Napa County and Little Moon Farm.

Originally from Maine, Cutri has been in Sonoma for five years, has an education background in nutrition, and a passion for sustainable farming. You might have seen her around as she currently waits tables at Salt & Stone in Kenwood.

Of Kohn Obut, Flatbed proprietor Sofie Dolan said that, “working with Rachel over the past three years has been such a wonderful experience. We are so excited for Rachel and Little Moon Farm and look forward to seeing her take Napa by storm. She has played a huge role in the growth here at Flatbed Farm and we are so thankful for that. She will be missed!”

“We are thrilled to welcome Hayley to the team,” said Dolan, “and are excited to see what she will grow, and learn more about her ideas and passions about sustainable farming.”

Flatbed Farm is located at 13450 Sonoma Hwy. in Glen Ellen, and its farmstand is open every Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with produce, eggs, herbs, and flowers You can check out their website at

New yoga class in Kenwood

Yoga instructor Lauren Vukicevich
Yoga instructor Lauren Vukicevich

Kenwood native Lauren Vukicevich has started teaching a community yoga class at the Kenwood Depot every Tuesday at 6 p.m. The class is open to all levels of fitness and experience.

This is a donation-based class, so participants can give what they feel is a fair exchange for the class.

“I'm excited to offer this class to my hometown community - to both familiar neighbors and new friends,” said Vukicevich. “I believe that yoga has the ability to align people with themselves, as well as to connect them to each other.”

To RSVP or with any questions, email For more information got to

Fall menu at Les Pascals

Les Pascals in Glen Ellen is rolling out a new fall menu just in time for the holidays. Seasonal Thanksgiving treats include pumpkin pies, apple tarts, chocolate-orange cookies, warm hazelnuts and raisin bread. There are also new flavors of macaroons, such as pumpkin, apple pie, pumpkin pie and lemon cake, and new breads - turmeric chorizo, wine salami, olive, and jalapeño cheddar. Find out more at

Les Pascals is located in the yellow building at 13758 Arnold Dr. in Glen Ellen.

Women in Leadership luncheon

The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Women in Leadership luncheon on Friday, Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, 100 Boyes Blvd.

The keynote speaker will be author Lynne Lancaster, current co-president of Impact100 Sonoma, a Sonoma-based collective grant-making organization.

The theme of this year's luncheon is “Community and Connection,” celebrating the value of and personal benefit from giving back to your community. Registration is required. Reserve your space soon, as this event always sells out.

Cost to chamber members is $65 per person; non-members are $85. After Oct. 19, cost goes up to $85 for everyone.

Go to to buy tickets.

Business Blurbs

Deerfield Ranch Winery and The Laugh Cellar are putting on a comedy show at the winery on Oct. 27 with a one-woman show by award-winning Ann Randolph. Her previous solo show, “Squeeze Box,” was produced by Mel Brooks and the late Anne Bancroft and enjoyed a successful Off-Broadway run before touring the United States and headlining at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “Squeeze Box” garnered both the Los Angeles Ovation Award and the LA Weekly Award for “Best Solo Show.” 21 and older only. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at… Tag's & Co. antique store in Kenwood is closing its doors on Oct. 31 as proprietor Robin Goerl is retiring. There will be a sale starting Oct. 15. The store, at 9255 Sonoma Hwy., will be open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed on weekends. Everything will be 25 percent off. On Oct. 31, everything will be 50 percent off. Cash only… Palooza Brewery & Gastropub has a lot going on leading up to Halloween. Saturday, Oct. 27, features a kids costume contest from 5-7 p.m. Fun for the whole family! Later that evening, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., there will be a 21+ event with DJ, dance floor, and full bar. $10 cover. Palooza is located at 8910 Sonoma Hwy…TIPS Roadside is having a Great Gatsby Party on Wednesday Oct. 31. Come as you are - or in costume! Take a step back in time to the Roaring 20s when lavish social hours were filled with great food and drink. Reservations recommended. Call 509-0078. TIPS Roadside is located at 8445 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood.

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