While most local businesses escaped major physical damage, not everyone was so lucky. And the financial damage is real. Lost revenue, wage loss, job loss, lost equipment, and more. So now that most shops, restaurants and wineries are open, there is no better time to shop local and support our business community. Some establishments are dealing with issues like smoke damage, but they hope to open soon.
This Business Beat column is a mish-mash of information - business status, events, shout-outs to those who helped during the fires, etc. It's not comprehensive (we can't fit everything in anyway), so feel free to let us know your news for the next issue. - Alec
Tri-Tip Trolley was a rock star during the fires, sticking around the whole time to provide food. Proprietor Susie Pryfogle wrote, “We started serving on Tuesday, Oct. 10, first thing in the morning at the Kenwood Fire Department. In the afternoon, as the fire moved south, we were told to move over to the Glen Ellen Station and then the next day to the Cal Fire station on Highway 12 in Glen Ellen. Meanwhile our chef Thaddeus had the other trolley in Santa Rosa at the Santa Rosa Police Department and Armory. Both trolleys were able to give out free food due to the incredible hearts of the community and the donations they gave.
Andrew Pryfogle (far right) gives a crew from the Susan River Fire Department a thumbs up and free food.
“Sondra Bernstein ran the commissary on the Sonoma side and our wish was her command. Carloads of food would arrive at the trolley for us to serve our beloved first responders. During this time we also created a gofundme page to feed the first responders and were able to use those funds to purchase food in Santa Rosa, as we were separated by the Highway 12 roadblocks. We were able to serve over 5,000 meals. Got Ball Meat Ball Factory helped out one or two days in the evening and Picazo food truck helped out one day. Ari [Weiswasser] from Glen Ellen Star shared his staff with us one day, and on the Santa Rosa end there were several staff members from Ram's Gate who volunteered their time.
“We served every day, except two, from Oct 10 to 22. One of the firefighters said that a warm meal energizes the front line, and we needed that. Our mission was to keep these first responders fed so they could keep fighting. A lady yesterday said to me, 'You know they are calling this the 10-pound fire.' I said, 'Oh really,' and she said, 'Yes, because they have been fed so well.'”
Business blurbsSpecial thanks to Palooza Brewery & Gastropub and Jeff and Suzette Tyler for providing free food and adult beverages to local residents after they started to filter home after being evacuated… The Olea Hotel in Glen Ellen sustained significant damage when the firestorm slammed through a portion of Warm Springs Road near Arnold Drive. While the three main buildings are intact, the fire took two of their cottages, the hot tub and fire pit areas, and part of the parking area. Ashish and Sia Patel will rebuild, but it's unclear as to when Olea will be able to re-open… Rachel Kohnobut said that Flatbed Farm off Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen lost its barn in the fire. The well was damaged and it's been three weeks since crops have been watered… Bee-Well Farms, also off Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen, suffered major damage, including the loss of Austin and Melissa Lely's home, truck and quad… Though the Adobe Fire started somewhere behind Chateau St. Jean Winery, the facilities luckily suffered only minor damage. After cleanup and smoke treatment, the winery hopes to open up by Nov. 6… Spann Vineyards Tasting Room in Kenwood will donate 50 percent of their tasting fees collected through Nov. 30 to fire relief efforts through the Redwood Credit Union's RCU Community Fund. In addition, the winery will donate 10 percent of the initial release sales of their 2014 MOJO, a powerful, potent and polished red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah and Petit Verdot to relief efforts. As an added incentive for participation they will be offering this wine at a 15 percent discount through Nov. 5 (regular price: $44, special: $37.40). The winery will also offer free tasting to all first responders… B. Wise Vineyards is donating $250,000 to the recovery effort surrounding the recent fires. The donation is being given to the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund with the goal of getting the region's displaced victims back on their feet. B. Wise has a tasting room in Kenwood, 9077 Sonoma Hwy… Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen re-opened to the public on Oct. 28 and will be free of charge, daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except major holidays) through the end of the year. Docent-led tours will be reduced by 20 percent. The fire burned some acres but not the 25-acre woodland garden. Bill (executive director) and Joanna McNamara remained at the garden, with no water or power, moving water from the pond and a holding tank to tend to the rare plants in the nursery. The fire burned right to the fence on the north and east side and then stopped. Quarryhill is located at 12841 Sonoma Hwy. 996-3166, www.deerfieldranch.com to purchase tickets. Deerfield is located at 10200 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood … 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 www.dentistoakmont.com.