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Business Beat: 11/15/2017

Business Beat

Oak Hill Farm survives firestorms

Just in time for the holiday season, the Red Barn Store at Oak Hill Farm in Glen Ellen opened on Nov. 4. The 700-acre Oak Hill Farm suffered significant damage during last month’s fires, but the Red Barn and the majority of the growing fields were unscathed. Farm manager David Cooper reported, “We lost a number of structures during the fire, including the three-bedroom farmhouse next to the White Barn where I lived with a coworker, an old redwood goat house, a storage shed, our workshop, two 500-gallon fuel storage tanks, two 10,000-gallon redwood water tanks, and our firewood storage. We also suffered significant damage to our irrigation and water infrastructure. We lost a number of our perennial trees and greenery on the north side of the farm. It appears the vast majority of the upper 600 acres of wildlands burnt, from the lower fenceline above the growing fields all the way to Cavedale Road. Cal Fire, Glen Ellen Fire, and the owner’s family were able to save the remaining structures on the farm.”

Cooper also said Oak Hill Farm is back to selling at the Friday Sonoma Farmers Market and delivering to its accounts in San Francisco. “It will be a long rebuilding and recovery process, but we want to continue to provide for our community, even if it’s at a reduced capacity.”

The Red Barn Store will be open Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Find out more at

Ashtons rise from the ashes

Steve and Justine Ashton of Ashton Vineyard in Glen Ellen, lost their home and ranch in the fire on Oct. 9, including treasured family photos and irreplaceable family heirlooms. At first, they were uncertain if they were going to be able to rebuild the vineyard or resume hosting the ever-popular Wine Country Film Festival. All the film festival equipment was destroyed including projectors, screens, and speakers.

However, Justine reported earlier this month that a major donor has come forward to replace the projection equipment, and the Wine Country Film Festival will return in fall 2019. The Ashtons’ granddaughter, Chenoa Lewis, is a film major and interested in taking the helm. In addition, Steve’s video production business, appropriately named Phoenix Production, is currently producing a documentary about the fire.

“Although we’re devastated and our hearts are heavy, we’re elevated by the incredible outpouring of love, concern and support by community, family and friends,” said Justine.

Since so many of their photographs and mementos were lost, Justine is hoping to collect what she can from friends and the community, inviting anyone who has them to share.

Friends have set up a crowdfunding campaign for the Ashtons to help with immediate needs and to aid in the rebuilding of losses that weren’t covered by insurance. To make a donation or find out more, visit

Local sculptor rebuilding

Brian Tedrick and Lord Snort
Larger-than-life sculptor Bryan Tedrick stands below “Lord Snort” at his studio in August 2016. Tedrick lost his studio in the Nuns Fire.
Local sculptor Bryan Tedrick lost his Nuns Canyon Road studio in the Nuns fire and friend and art collector Judith Comstock has set up a fund to raise $100,000 to help him rebuild. Tedrick is well-known for his massive works of metal, wood and stone, many of which have been highlights of the art scene at Burning Man. Comstock said, “I figure that if everyone who knows Bryan and loves his work or is a collector, as I am, would contribute at least $2 each and spread the word on social media, we could easily raise $100K for him to rebuild his studio. It’s one thing to lose one’s home, but to lose your place of work and materials as an artist, it is compounded! It’s tough enough being an artist, but to lose it all is devastating.” To contribute, go to, and spread the word.

TIPS Roadside commissions art memorializing fires

Andrew and Susie Pryfogle, owners of TIPS Roadside in Kenwood are reaching out to residents of the Sonoma Valley who lost their homes in last month’s fire in hopes of helping them heal by sharing a piece of their story.

“In driving around the valley and meeting so many who lost everything, I came to realize how precious the smallest of items might be to someone, some item from their home that tells a piece of their story,” said Susie Pryfogle. “I’ve read about people combing through the ashes of their homes and finding a broken plate or burned out picture frame that triggers a memory. What may have at one time seemed to be an ordinary everyday possession now holds tremendous sentimental value. It occurred to me that it could be a wonderful thing to collect such items from the entire community and have a local artist create a permanent art installation that celebrates those memories and celebrates the resilient spirit of this amazing community.”

TIPS Roadside is now accepting proposals from local artists who want to turn donated items into an original work of art. The Pryfogles will be making a final selection from submitted proposals and commissioning the work. The result will be given a permanent home at TIPS Roadside, at the corner of Adobe Canyon and Highway 12 in Kenwood.

Residents interested in contributing an item for this project should call Susie Pryfogle at 509-0078 or stop by TIPS Roadside offices located on the rear of the property at 8445 Sonoma Hwy.

Artists should submit their proposals to 8445 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood, CA 95452. Include a detailed description of your vision along with an artist’s rendition. Finalists will be notified by the end of December, and a winner awarded by the end of January 2018.

For more information, please contact Susie at 509-0078 or email at

TIPS Roadside is currently in the middle of a major renovation of the former Vineyard’s Inn Restaurant with a projected opening of Spring 2018. Much attention is being given to using reclaimed materials from the previous restaurant so that the history of that institution can be preserved.

Local small businesses need your support now more than ever

Hopscotch Gifts & Gallery, Wine Country Chocolates and Sculpturesite Gallery at Jack London Village on Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen will be participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday, a national event held on Nov. 25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. American Express created this opportunity to remind consumers to shop locally at small independent retailers instead of large box stores. This year is even more critical for local businesses that were closed in October because of the fires and road closures.

At Hopscotch, customers can enjoy complimentary cake, delight in a bubble-blowing machine, and enter to win small prizes while they shop. Stock up on any holiday ornament or decoration and receive 10 percent off those items as well as discounted wine barrel tables by Ed McKee of Oakmont.
Shop Small tote bag
Support your local merchants.

Next door at Wine Country Chocolates, watch chocolate makers create scrumptious truffles and other confections. There will be complimentary chocolate tasting and you can pick out your own personalized assortment of handmade truffles in a beautiful gift box.

At the end of the main building, enjoy an art walk of international outdoor sculpture throughout the village’s gardens, creekside decks and in front of businesses, courtesy of Sculpturesite Gallery. Complimentary wine will be poured for guests as they stroll through the gallery.

All three businesses will be giving away sturdy ShopSmall canvas tote bags with purchases while supplies last. There will also be pins, balloons, stickers and writing pens available as thank you gifts while in stock.

Jack London Village is located at 14301 Arnold Dr. in Glen Ellen. For more information call Kay at Hopscotch Gifts & Gallery at 343-1931.

Muscardini Turducken pairing

Do you like Turducken? Of course you do! And what could be better than a chicken, a turkey, a duck – and delicious wine? Muscardini Cellars will host three Turducken Food and Wine Pairings on Nov. 18, at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Enjoy a deconstructed Turducken and other traditional Thanksgiving dishes paired with Muscardini Cellars wines. This is a great opportunity to pick out a special wine to serve with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Cost is $30 for wine club members, $45 for nonmembers. More information at

Sonoma Valley holiday open house

Toast the holiday season in Sonoma Valley, on Nov. 25 and 26. As part of this celebration, organized by Heart of Sonoma Valley Winery Association, 21 wineries will open their doors and invite the public to taste wine, meet the winemakers, mingle in caves and cellars and stock up on holiday wines and gifts. The event runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Participating wineries are B. Wise Vineyards Tasting Lounge, Benziger Family Winery, Chateau St. Jean Winery, Deerfield Ranch Winery, Eric Ross Winery, Imagery Estate Winery, Kenwood Vineyards, La Rochelle, Ledson Winery & Vineyards, Loxton Cellars, Manzanita Creek Winery, Mayo Family Winery, Muscardini Cellars, Orpheus Wines, Paradise Ridge Winery, Spann Vineyards, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery, Sunce Winery, Ty Caton Vineyards, Valley of the Moon at Madrone Estate, and Wellington Cellars. Weekend passes range from $45-$55 and designated driver passes are $10-$15. Visit to buy tickets.

Business Blurbs

The Sonoma Chamber will be host a free business resource workshop for local small businesses on Thursday, Nov. 16, 8:30-10 a.m. at Vintage Senior Center in Sonoma. “Recovery and Rebuilding in Sonoma Valley” will feature experts from the Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, North Bay Insurance Brokers and various local banks. RSVP at Vintage Senior Center is located at 264 First St. East… Valley of the Moon Winery in Glen Ellen hosts a Creative Paint Night to benefit fire relief on Nov. 16, 6-8 p.m. Find out more at… Lara Rice, DDS, of Oakmont General and Implant Dentistry in Oakmont, is holding a one-day-only free dental clinic on Nov. 21 for veterans, active military, and first responders. You must call 539-8956 for an appointment. Rice’s office is located at 6575 Oakmont Dr., #5. To find out more go to The Glen Ellen Block (Kivelstadt Cellars, Laurel Glen Vineyards, Talisman Wines, and Korbin Kameron) will host a Glen Ellen Stroll on Saturday, Dec. 2, 4-6 p.m. Enjoy holiday cheer, wine, caroling and sweets. Tickets are $40, waived for any wine club members. Proceeds from the raffle, wines sales and tickets sales will benefit Sonoma Rotary to assist with fire relief… Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Sonoma State University welcomed Elizabeth Haskell as the new Program Assistant at its Oakmont satellite campus last month. Haskell has had extensive experience as supervisor of senior centers and community centers in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Healdsburg throughout her career. Find out more about OLLI at… Unfortunately, Moon Mountain Christmas Tree Farm on Moon Mountain Road will be closed this season due to fire damage. Our best wishes to Bobbi Hall and her family for a speedy recovery for next year.

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Community Calendar

Creekside Nature Hike
Sugarloaf Trail Crew
Night Sky Trails
Creekside Nature Hike
Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance Fundraiser
Forest Therapy
Economic Recovery town hall meeting