Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Business Beat: 03/01/2011

Business Beat

Vita Bella expands; Party March 5

Janis Jennings Snyder, owner of Vita Bella in the Kenwood shopping center, will be expanding into two stores again.

Janis says that she has been hearing that people want to shop locally, but local shops don’t always carry what they need. So, she is introducing “Belle Vie” in her current location. Belle Vie will be for clothing and accessories, bath and beauty. The store will still carry some pre-owned and vintage clothing, but for those who prefer new, there will be a larger selection of new clothing, as well as some men’s items.

Then across the courtyard where the surveyor’s office used to be, Janis will open “Vita Bella Home,” which will still carry interesting used, vintage and antique furniture and dcor, but also new bedding and table linens, a line of muslin covered chairs and various fitted slipcovers.

By early summer, Vita Bella Home will also have an upscale coffee seating area. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. there will be a place to meet up, visit with friends and enjoy a cup of French Press coffee. The target for opening Vita Bella Home is mid-March.

You can check out the progress on Vita Bella Home as part of Vita Bella’s three-year Anniversary Party on March 5. The party starts at 1:30 p.m. with a fashion show in the courtyard (weather permitting) followed by wine, appetizers, music and special deals in the store from 2-8 p.m.

Janis looks forward to seeing the community there, emphasizing, “This wouldn’t be possible without the support you’ve given in these first three difficult years, so I hope to show gratitude by throwing a fun party!”

Wine Country Group merges with Mason-McDuffie

Wine Country Group Realtors, affiliated with Frank Howard Allen with nine offices, including Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Sonoma, is merging with Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate.

The new entity is called Wine Country Group Realtors by Better Homes and Gardens.

The company’s network of offices now consists of 40 offices and 2,000 real estate agents throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada.

“We are truly excited with this new association,” said Gerrett Snedaker, senior vice president, North Bay, Wine Country Group Realtors. “We are joining a powerhouse brokerage firm with a strong legacy; Mason-McDuffie dates back more than 120 years in the Bay Area. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is a fresh, innovative lifestyle brand that is the real estate brand of the future,” he added. “It provides our agents with a significant upgrade in technology and marketing services, and gives them the tools they need to speak to today’s consumer.”

For more information, contact Snedaker at 939-2009.

Wildwood now on YouTube

Wildwood Farm Nursery & Garden in Kenwood has developed a video featuring Joe Monte showing how to shape and prune fruiting and ornamental trees. Since now is the time to be doing this, the release of the video is very timely.

The video is produced by Kivamedia. Just go to and click on the video.

Bay Area gardeners will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on tree shaping workshop with Monte on upcoming Sunday afternoons – March 6, 13, 20, and 27, all starting at 1 p.m.

Enjoy a casual introduction to the art of tree shaping and create a living work of art for your deck, patio, or landscape. There will be hands-on learning with individual assistance, discussion of various Japanese maples and other trees suitable for container gardening, and a guided tour of various mature specimens in the Wildwood gardens to observe and discuss how pruning has enhanced their structure.

Call to make your reservations now, 833-1161. Wildwood Farm Nursery & Garden is located at 10300 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood.

Food after 50 Workshop

Come enjoy local vibrant food and learn about foods that keep you strong after 50. This “Food After 50” workshop will take place on March 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Oakmont Golf Club, 7035 Oakmont Dr.

The workshop will be directed by Genevieve Ladha, CSA (Certified Senior Advisor) and owner of Sonoma Homecare. The session will be based on the Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults from Tufts University, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

The morning will be spent talking about the many vibrantly colored foods that help support a healthy lifestyle. The workshop is free and all attendants will receive recipes and enjoy a sampling of the foods presented and prepared. The food will focus on colorful and local ingredients based near Sonoma Valley.

For more information contact Genevieve Ladha at 938-7371 or

New Kenwood and Glen Ellen business directory

The Valley of the Moon Villages Association, a local business and marketing group, is sponsoring the creation of a directory of Glen Ellen and Kenwood-based businesses to be released in late Spring.

Any business (retail, hospitality, home-based, etc.) can get a free listing if they operate in Glen Ellen or Kenwood.

The Kenwood Press will be producing the directory. You can send the details of your business (name, address, phone, web information) to

Cafe Europe thriving in Rincon Valley

Restaurateur Herbert Zacher operated Caf Europe on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa for 10 years, but he’s glad he moved to the St. Francis Shopping Center off of Sonoma Highway and Calistoga Rd.

“This has been a very good location for us,” said the Bavarian born Zacher.

His restaurant roots go back even further, with his parents running a Bavarian establishment when he was a child. Zacher came over to the U.S. in the late 1970s, eventually establishing Little Bavaria in Guerneville. Cafe Europe’s chef, Robert Buchshachermair, is from Austria, and he, too, grew up in a restaurant run by his parents.

Herbert Zacher of Café Europe in Rincon Valley. Photo by Alec Peters.
Cafe Europe is celebrating nine years at its current spot, serving European and continental specialties. Of course there is the wide range of German fare, but there are also many other kinds of dishes, including eight different salads, fresh seafood, lamb, filet mignon, and pasta.

The traditional European and German dishes include veal or pork schnitzel, sauerbraten, beef or veal bratwurst, potato pancakes, veal or chicken Cordon Bleu, Vienna meatloaf, and more.

The eatery also has an extensive wine list, and provides catering services for special occasions or regular events.

Cafe Europe has a special going on right now – a three-course dinner with dessert and no corkage on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, all for only $20.

Cafe Europe is open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To make a reservation, call 538-5255.

B.R. Cohn features classic cars

Bruce Cohn, proprietor of the B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen and himself a classic car collector, builder and aficionado will be hosting Classic Car Cruise-Ins to be held at B.R. Cohn Winery on the first Sunday of each month, April through October, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit is free to visitors. Classic car enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their own cars to exhibit.

The cruise-in dates are April 3, May 1, June 5, July 3, Aug. 7, Sept. 4, and Oct. 2.

Since he was 16, Cohn has been in love with fast and collectable cars. He currently owns four of them: a 1933 Willys Roadster, a 1941 Willys Sedan Delivery, a 1934 Henry Ford Five-Window Coupe, and a 1946 Ford Woody Wagon. All these cars and others will be on display during Classic Car Cruise-Ins Sundays.

In addition to viewing all kinds of collectable cars, the winery will also offer picnic items from the gourmet food shop to enjoy with award-winning B.R Cohn wines and of course, the latest from the winery’s car collection of wines including Roadster Red, Woody White, Boaters Barbera, Panel Wagon Pinot, Coupe Cuvee and Muscle Car Red. These wines celebrate images of Cohn’s cars on the labels and are great gifts for the car fan in the family. Also, a barbeque lunch will be available for purchase, with all proceeds benefiting the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

B.R. Cohn Winery is located at 15000 Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen. The tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Info: 800-330-4064, or

Ruark joins Century 21

Randy Ruark
Randy Ruark, a veteran professional in the real estate and investment industries recently joined Century 21 Valley of the Moon located at 6580 Oakmont Drive, in Oakmont.

In addition to residential real estate her broad statewide experience includes agriculture, income properties and investment counseling.

Randy is an active participant in issues of interest at the community, state and national level. She previously served her local board of Realtors as an arbitrator on their Ethics Committee, and as a panelist on a weekly question and answer television show. She has earned many awards as a top ranking producer both locally and nationally.

Randy utilizes her knowledge of the market conditions, expertise and negotiating skills to provide a level of professional representation and service highly valued by her clients both old and new. She resides in Oakmont with her husband and can be reached at 322-2482 or at

Local author hosts book signing in Oakmont

Carol McConkie, former publisher of the Oakmont News and longtime Sonoma County resident, will introduce her first novel Fat Girl Fairy Boy at a book signing and presentation on Friday, March 18 at 4 p.m. at the Quail Inn at Oakmont. The book, a fictional contemporary adventure, is a darkly humorous tale of family, friendship and personal discovery.

It is the story of an aging, embittered actress and her gay makeup artist held captive by terrorists in El Salvador and their discovery of courage, trust, compassion and forgiveness they never thought possible. Fat Girl Fairy Boy is now available for sale on, and other retail book outlets, as well as at the March 18 Quail Inn presentation.

Chamber Business Expo

The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce is having its 2011 Business Expo on March 10, 5-7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building in Sonoma, 126 First Street west.

This tradeshow-style event is Sonoma Valley’s largest business networking opportunity.

Admission is free and the public is welcome. A $10 food and wine passport will be available for purchase. For more information, call the Chamber offices at 996-1033.

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Community Calendar

Oakmont Farmers Market
Yoga Hike
Observatory open
Emmaus Inclusive Community service and potluck supper
Sons of Hermann German Club
Oakmont Kiwanis Club meets
Oakmont Farmers Market
Bill & Dave lead a leisurely hike at Sugarloaf
Hospice fundamentals
Big Heart dinner
GEK Rotary crab feed

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