Kenwood Press

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Business Beat: 12/01/2018

Business Beat for Dec. 1, 2018

Top Drawer Consignment now open in Kenwood

Chelsea Styles-Smith
Chelsea Styles-Smith is co-proprietor of the new Top Drawer Consignment in Kenwood.
Just in time for the holidays, Debra Smith and her daughter Chelsea Styles-Smith are launching their Top Drawer Consignment shop with a grand opening party, wine, appetizers, and, of course shopping, on Dec. 1 and 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The name comes from the Victorian-era tradition of keeping your most prized possessions in the “top drawer” of your bureau dresser. Over the years the expression evolved to signify luxury or quality as well as high social standing. Top Drawer will be offering gently used furniture, home decor, clothing and accessories.

Located at 9255 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood, Top Drawer Consignment will be open Friday through Monday, 11 a.m. -5 p.m. To reach Top Drawer Consignment, email, or just stop by.

Plans for cannabis nursery shelved

Citing a dysfunctional county permitting process, plans for a cannabis nursery at Annadel Estate Winery/Bordigioni Family Winery across from Oakmont on Sonoma Highway have gone up in smoke.

Winery owner Dean Bordigioni and Jay Jensen, owner of Novavine’s rootstock operation one parcel away, were going to team up to construct a nursery for young cannabis plants, hoping to fill a commercial niche in the county’s now legal cannabis industry.

However, a little over eight months since first filing a planning application with the county, the two have called it quits. Both Bordigioni and Jensen said that shifting local cannabis industry regulations frustrated their efforts, eventually getting to a point where the project was not economically viable anymore.

“Little things added up over time,” said Bordigioni. “It was getting too expensive with no end in sight.”

Bordigioni does plan to go forward with a previously approved expansion of his wine business on the 33-acre property.

Take a Glen Ellen Stroll

Kick off the holiday season on Dec. 1, 2-6 p.m., with the Glen Ellen Stroll. Sip, savor, and shop your way through the village of Glen Ellen with wine tasting at Kivelstadt Cellars, Laurel Glen Vineyard, and Talisman Wines, and bites from Les Pascals Patisserie. Tickets are $30 at the door, and complimentary for wine club members.

Chateau St. Jean hosts community celebration

Chateau St. Jean Winery is hosting a holiday celebration and tree lighting ceremony for the local community on Dec. 1, 4-6 p.m., with proceeds from the event benefitting the Kenwood Education Foundation.

Enjoy twinkling lights, wine tasting, a hot cocoa bar, and other treats with friends and neighbors. Proceeds from ticket sales and 10 percent of featured wine sales during the event will go to KEF. Cost is $15 per person. RVSP at

Zen Center retreat

The Sonoma Mountain Zen Center is commemorating Buddha’s enlightenment with a Rohatsu Sesshin, an intensive meditation retreat Dec. 3-8.

The retreat is a special time of practice, diving into the core of Zen training – a silent meditation intensive for experienced sitters to still the mind from moment to moment.

Each day the schedule begins at 5 a.m. and includes 10 periods of meditation, chanting, mindful work, Dharma talks, and private interviews, ending at 9 p.m.

The retreat begins at 7:30 p.m. on Monday and ends at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Special arrangements can be made for those unable to come for the entire retreat due to work commitments.

For non-members, cost is $65 a day, general members are $55, and practicing members are $45.

To sign up, call the Zen Center office at 545-8105, or email For more information about the center, go to

New Year’s Eve at Quail Inn

Sign up for the Oakmont Golf Club’s New Year’s Eve bash on Dec. 31, 5-10 p.m., at the Quail Inn in Oakmont, with music by The Carl Green Band.

The party starts at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m., and dancing to follow. Complimentary champagne is included.

The Carl Green Band has performed two sellout shows with Roy Clark, and also performed shows with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Sammy Kershaw, and Asleep at the Wheel.

Menu includes oysters, shrimp, crab, braised beef, salmon, and dessert.

Cost is $80 for the public, $70 for Oakmont Golf Club members, plus tax and a 20 percent service charge. Cash bar.

Pre-paid reservations only. Call 537-3671 (72-hour cancellation policy).

New marketing head at Sonoma County Tourism

Todd O’Leary, former vice president of global partnerships and strategic alliances for San Francisco Travel, has joined Sonoma County Tourism as its vice president of marketing and communications.

O’Leary will oversee the organization’s goals of growing Sonoma County’s robust hospitality economy, increasing visitation, enhancing the organization’s research and data-mining efforts, expanding opportunities for partner businesses, and raising the profile of the organization among the Sonoma County community.

At San Francisco Travel, O’Leary held a leadership position within SF Travel’s marketing division and was responsible for connecting 1,300-plus industry partners with the organization’s marketing and promotional assets. He also co-developed marketing, media relations, and partnership strategies that were based on research.

“This is a pivotal time for Sonoma County and our hospitality community,” O’Leary said. “Our new brand, ‘Life Opens Up,’ does a wonderful job of connecting visitors to the people, places and experiences that make Sonoma County truly unique. I look forward to working with our team, partners, and community stakeholders to bring this new vision to life.”

New Wine Sales Management Course

The Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University (SSU) is adding a new online course in Wine Sales Management to its slate of Spring 2019 professional program offerings. Launching next March, the Wine Sales Management course will explore route-to-market strategies for alcoholic beverages, and client-facing sales and territory management skills, among other topics. Additional wine business programs scheduled for Spring 2019 include the Online Certificate in Wine Business Management foundation course, beginning Jan. 24; the Certificate in Wine Industry Finance & Accounting, beginning Feb. 9; the Certificate in Wine Entrepreneurship, beginning Feb. 21; and the Online Certificate in QuickBooks, beginning May 8.

New faculty members David Bower, owner and operator at Lake Ridge Consulting, and Gabriel Froymovich, owner of Vineyard Financial Associates, will be teaching in the Online Certificate in Wine Business Management, and Kevin Shea, revenue officer and developer at Activated Sales Management, will be teaching in the Wine Sales Management course.

“Our Wine Business Institute is pleased to offer our full slate of online and in-person certificate programs in Spring 2019, including the popular Certificate in Wine Entrepreneurship that is only available on a biennial basis,” said Karen Thompson, Interim Dean of the School of Business and Economics. “We are proud to offer these timely and relevant programs that support the continuing development needs of local wine industry professionals.”

For more information go to or call 664-3235. The Wine Business Institute is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics. SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer professional certificates and degrees specializing in the business of wine. It is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree.

Blues & Brunch

TIPS Roadside in Kenwood is hosting Blues and Brunch on Sunday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with Lane Tietgen. Tietgen began his musical career as the guitarist and primary songwriter for The Serfs, who achieved some fame in and around the band’s home state of Kansas. Tietgen now lives in the Bay Area and regularly performs live as a folk singer and guitarist. TIPS Roadside is located at 8445 Sonoma Hwy. Call 509-0078.

Holiday party at Palooza

Palooza Brewery and Gastropub will host a neighborhood holiday party on Dec. 15. Bring your ugliest holiday sweater to win big prizes. Also, Karaoke, so brush up on you holiday songs! Palooza is located in the Kenwood shopping center at 8910 Sonoma Hwy. The restaurant can be reached at 833-4000.

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