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Business Beat: 06/01/2018

Business Beat June 1, 2018

Palooza partners with Sonoma Stompers

owners of palooza in front of the restaurant
Owners of Palooza Suzette and Jeff Tyler (right) and daughter Sydney (left).

Kenwood's Palooza Brewery & Gastropub will take its grub on the road this summer, all the way to The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club's home field in Sonoma. The field will go by a new moniker for the season - “Palooza Park at Arnold Field.”

“I'm thrilled to have Palooza at the park this year,” said Stompers General Manager Brett Creamer. “We're located in an area that is one of the world's premier culinary destinations. Sonoma Stompers concessions should reflect that, and now they do.”

Fans can now take in Stompers baseball while enjoying Palooza's fresh lobster rolls, garlic fries and Brussels sprouts, as well as lighter fare like hummus and pita. Specializing in creating dishes with thoughtfully-sourced ingredients, Palooza uses the highest quality meats and makes all of their sauces, pickles and dressings in-house.

“The thing I'm most looking forward to is bringing the community together and having a Sonoma County-worthy experience at the ballpark. It's going to be a great time,” said Palooza owner Jeff Tyler.

Palooza will also partner with the NorCal Beer Geeks to put on a beer festival at Palooza Park on the Fourth of July. After the game, fans can stay to watch the world-famous Sonoma fireworks show.

The Palooza partnership will exist alongside new and returning concessions partners including Mary's Slice Shack made-from-scratch pizza slices, Barking Dog Roasters coffee, and local snack companies SmashMallow, Dang, KRAVE jerky, AQUAKOLA and U Gottabee Nutz.

Fans may also enjoy catered service of Palooza food and Leese-Fitch wine offerings in the Leese-Fitch Wine Lounge, the Stompers' luxury seating section.

The Stompers begin their home schedule at Palooza Park at Arnold Field on June 5. Palooza Brewery & Gastropub is located in Kenwood at 8910 Sonoma Hwy.

Homegrown Bagels celebrates four decades

Businesses like Homegrown Bagels are a rarity these days. Serving New York-style bagels out of its Sonoma café for almost 40 years, it has become the city's longest continuously owner-operated café, and has developed a cult following not only for its bagels, but also for its friendly staff who know regulars by name - and the bagels they prefer.

“Sometimes when we see someone in the parking lot we can open the toaster and have their bagel ready before they even get up to the counter because we know what they'll want,” said owner Stuart Teittelbaum, who lives in Glen Ellen. “Today with Costco, with online, with the ATM, we all crave that personal interaction.”

All Homegrown's bagels are made by hand, the same way, even after all these years. In fact, only two people have ever baked Homegrown's bagels - Teittelbaum himself and baker Tony Peña. Peña has been working with Teittelbaum for 37 years, and amazingly, has never missed a day of work.

With offerings from the classic cream cheese and lox to California-style jalapeno salsa, and everything in between, Homegrown Bagels has developed some serious fans. When Nugget Markets, owners of Sonoma and Glen Ellen markets, announced last month that they would no longer carry Homegrown Bagels in those bakeries, there was an outpouring of concern - and frustration - on Homegrown Bagels' Facebook page.

Teittelbaum was overwhelmed by the support. “We are proud to have been here 40 years and been Sonoma's bagel shop,” he said. “We are proud that people care and we are appreciated.”

Homegrown Bagels opened in Sonoma on June 1978 as Sonoma County's first ever bagel shop, and had only the second espresso machine in the city of Sonoma. “Lots of people, lots of Californians, had their very first bagel with us,” said Teittelbaum. Twenty years ago, the shop moved from its original location to its current location in the CVS shopping center. A fire in 2000 burned down part of the cafe, but Teittelbaum rebuilt from that and has kept going.

Owner in front of Homegrown Bagels when he first opened the café in 1978
Owner Stuart Teittelbaum in front of Homegrown Bagels when he first opened the café in 1978.

Teittelbaum was a city kid and grew up in New York and Manhattan. He later moved to Thousand Oaks and after graduation worked his way up the California coast through Ventura, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. Surprisingly, it was in Monterey that he learned the craft of New York-style bagel baking - “you've got to boil and then bake. If you don't boil first, it's not the real deal.” With that skill in his tool belt, he kept traveling until ultimately landing on Shaw Avenue in Kenwood before he moved to Glen Ellen.

Teittelbaum raised his two kids in Glen Ellen. They attended Dunbar Elementary School and worked at the café in high school. “Sleeping on sacks of flour in the back,” he joked.

Homegrown Bagels supports the community, and Teittelbaum makes donations whenever he's asked. “I give bagels freely,” he said. Teittelbaum said he never expected it to go this far, but that the shop has taken on a life of its own.

“Our customers are our friends. That's a good feeling.”

More of that good feeling will be shared on Sunday, June 10, when Homegrown Bagels hosts its First 40 Fiesta, starting at 4 p.m. Open to the whole community, local musicians will be there to put on a show, with dancing, singing, plus lots food, fun - and, of course, bagels.

Homegrown Bagels is located at 201 W. Napa St. in Sonoma. Find out more at

Flatbed Farm bounces back after fires

Flatbed Farm in Glen Ellen, which was closed for months because of last October's fires, has bounced back in a big way. That's good news for local shoppers who want fresh vegetables, starts for their gardens, and connections to chefs and farmers.

For now, the farm stand is only open Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., but with warmer weather, days and hours will expand.

Meanwhile, the chickens are laying eggs like crazy, the roses are blooming, and the strawberries are ripening fast.

There's also olive oil from the olive trees that survived the fires, plus new Flatbed Farm T-shirts, as well as gluten-free pastries, preserves and jams created by hand and in small batches by chef Amie Pfeifer.

“It was too emotional to come here and look around right after the fires,” she said. “It wasn't just that we lost the barn, though it was spectacular. It was also that we lost a gathering place for the community.”

For the time being, Flatbed is using an Airstream trailer that serves as storage room and office.

Sofie Dolan, who co-owns Flatbed with her husband Chris, said that there were no immediate plans to build another big barn to replace the one they lost.

“We will have a new small structure near the entrance,” she said.

For Sofie, and for everyone else at Flatbed, the fires were traumatic. Like everyone else, she's recovering nicely.

“It feels great to be back here,” she said. “The positivity of the community has provided a huge motivation for us to keep going. It takes confidence and courage.”

Kevin and Rachel Gilbert couldn't be more positive. They shopped at Flatbed in May when the farm stand offered freshly picked peas, cilantro, chard, and Little Gem lettuce.

The Gilberts live six months of the year in Chicago and six months in Glen Ellen.

“There's nothing like this in Chicago,” Kevin Gilbert said. “We live here half the year because of the organic produce and the farm stands more than for the wine, though we also like the wine.”

Rachel Gilbert added, “We love the Flatbed eggs. They come in different colors.”

Rachel Kohn Obut, who has been the main farmer at Flatbed for the past three seasons, is back again, though only for two days a week. She's now also farming in Napa five days a week.

“We're focusing on our most popular produce,” Kohn Obut said. “And we're expanding our cultivation of flowers.”

She added that it was hard to be back at Flatbed right after the fire destroyed the barn, but that once spring arrived and she put seeds in the ground “it began to feel good again.”

On Cinco de Mayo, Kohn Obut shared her farming experience with locals.

Pfeifer explained how she makes red sauce for pasta, and, when a customer asked about her lime marmalade, she recommended adding it to a thick slice of sourdough bread smeared with goat cheese.

Dolan offered suggestions about a spring salad made with arugula, pea shoots, pistachios, avocado, and Burrata, plus olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

“It's been fun to start all over again,” she said. “But it's also been frustrating since insurance doesn't cover much. We still have to do smoke abatement in our living space on the top of the hill.”

She smiled and put together a bouquet with lamb's ear, Scabiosa, love-in-a-mist, yarrow and verbena that would make any table all the more beautiful.

Flatbed Farm is located at 13450 Sonoma Hwy. in Glen Ellen.

- Jonah Raskin

Book signing at Chateau St. Jean Winery

Author Frank Burroughs will be holding a book signing for Insight, Hindsight & Flights of Fancy, a collection of short stories, on Sunday, June 3, at 11 a.m. at Chateau St. Jean Winery in Kenwood. He authored one of the short stories, called “From Tehran to Marrakesh,” contained within the anthology, which comes from the Shadows of the Mountain Writers Guild. You can find it on

Sonoma County Tourism adds VP of global tourism development

Deleyse Langdale, Sonoma County Tourism's (SCT) former international sales director, has rejoined the organization as its vice president of global tourism development, a new position responsible for driving visitation to Sonoma County through developing programs and campaigns targeted at the domestic and international individual traveler and group leisure sectors including tour operators, travel agents, wholesalers, resellers, and online travel agencies.

As a member of SCT's leadership team, Langdale will provide leadership, direction, and resource stewardship to the organization's new tourism development division.

Sonoma County Tourism offices are located at 400 Aviation Blvd., Ste. 500, Santa Rosa, Calif. 95403. For more information, call 522-5800 or 800-576-6662, or visit

Business Blurbs

Green Acres Manor will be celebrating 13 years in business on June 9 with a Hawaiian Luau BBQ, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with lunch being included, of course! RSVP by June 1 to 833-1171... Tags & Co. and The Mystic and the Monk will host a spring antique fair with multiple dealers on June 9, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. There will also be beer, and pizza from the cob adobe pizza oven built by Miguel Elliott. Elliott owns Living Earth Structures, based in Petaluma, which builds all sorts of functional structures out of locally sourced cob (clay mixed with sand and straw) and adobe, an environmentally sustainable and affordable way to build. Come by and browse the antiques and taste some pizza straight out of the oven.

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