Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine February 2021 Issue

Page 1

InnovativeEstate Planning Have you planned for PROP 19? The Deadline is FEBRUARY 12th! Call us NOW for a free consult or WATCH our webinar with this QR code:

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Anthony G. Celaya Attorney

Meghan M. Avila Attorney

Lynnette Seibert Legal Assistant

Elizabeth Celaya Paralegal

Cynthia Torrez Client Relations

Schedule a Free Appointment or RSVP for our Free Webinar every Wednesday.

707-492-3112 | | Se Habla Español


If interested in making a difference in the lives of the Napa Valley community + beyond, email or

VOLUNTEER PROGRAM 707.254.1775 300 Hartle Ct, Napa

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DON’T MISS OUT: LUXURY RESIDENCES ARE SELLING FAST The Watermark at Napa Valley Is Now Open and Welcoming You Safely Discover an enriching, iconic and invigorating Californian lifestyle at Napa Valley’s newest luxury, resort-like retirement community featuring unrivaled senior living with exceptional amenities and elevated experiences designed for a life of convenience, exploration and joy. Don’t miss out – make a reservation now and be among the first to experience our leading-edge EngageVR (virtual reality) program, where you can immerse yourself in exciting experiences and adventures without leaving our extraordinary community. Notable Amenities, Features and Services New 195,000-square-foot community at the nexus of one of the world’s premier wine regions

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Outdoor kitchen, barbecue and dining area with a fireplace

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Dynamic calendar of programs, Extraordinary Outings, events and classes through Watermark University

Four dining venues from upscale to casual and everything in between

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Close proximity to shopping, dining and medical centers

Call 707-345-1480 to learn more. Your path to wellness begins here.




better EXPERIENCE starts with

better CARE At St. Joseph Health Medical Group, our dedicated and highly trained otolaryngologists treat the full spectrum of head and neck disorders. We treat a wide range of problems related to the ears, nose and throat with an individualized plan using both medical and surgical expertise. Serving adult and pediatric patients in Napa and the surrounding communities, we have the only Pediatric ENT in the North Bay region. We take pride we take in caring for our patients and meeting each health need with comprehensive and compassionately care.

Stephen Gugenheim, MD

1100 Trancas St., Ste. 210 Napa, CA 94558 (707) 251–3608

Joyce H. Colton House, MD

G. Lois Montague, MD


New location on corner of Soscol and Kansas Avenue in Napa.

CEG Expands Its Services Computer Engineering Group (CEG), in business for over 30 years, has seen many natural and man-made disasters, but none of it compares to the worldwide pandemic that struck in 2020. “I’ve been in this industry for over two decades and have never seen a year like this one,” said Jorge Zetina, President of CEG. All industries were affected quite dramatically in the beginning. As an essential business, CEG kept their entire staff onboard and continued providing critical IT, computer and mobile device repair services to medical offices, public utilities, and many other critical infrastructure companies.

There was a brief 10% layoff that only lasted about 10 days before the entire staff was brought back and then added to because of the increasing need from clients and demand for stable decentralized workforces. Many of these new staff members came from the severely impacted hospitality industry. Fire season hit the Napa Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic and heavily affected many businesses. CEG, now veterans of their third natural disaster caused by wildfire in the last ten years, stood more than ready. Remote working was already possible; engineering staff had been through it before and came through for many clients in their time of need. Some client environments were fully relocated to

707-257-9701 · 305 Soscol Avenue, Napa ·

CEG’s hosting services to continue working despite their offices being without power and internet. One of the services CEG became involved in throughout this trying time was the configuration and installation of COVID-19 lab equipment testing systems to their medical clients’ networks and the associated reporting to the California Department of Public Health. “I just feel honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the solution to this pandemic, however minimal,” said Dylan Williams, Senior IT Consultant. Due to rapid growth during a historic year, CEG is now moving. Their long-time partnership with the Gasser Foundation has provided them an opportunity to move into the former Umpqua Bank building on the corner of Soscol and Kansas Avenue in Napa, next to the Black Bear Diner. The business admin team and IT consulting staff will occupy the second floor; and the mobile device and computer repair operations will operate from the main floor. With the transition into a two-floor building, lots of new and exciting services are coming. Soon to follow the move will be the introduction of a COVID friendly drivethrough drop off and pick-up window experience for phones and tablets, the official introduction of CEG’s Apple Independent Repair Provider program, public computer, internet and printer usage to name a few.

FRONT COVER PHOTO CEG EMPLOYEES (top to bottom, left to right): Eric Ross, Austin Eardley, Elvis Eugene, Dylan Williams, Mohamet Mendoza, Anthony Woodall, John Hall, Paul Herman, Matt Laseke, Gabriel Villasenor, Nik Samaritis, Erich Jinks, Matt Cushman, Israel Rodriguez, Fabian Quintana, Christian Corona, Oscar Domingos, Salvador Alvarado, Brad Price, Deanna Carpenter, Jorge Zetina and Angelica Zetina.

“It’s been one of my goals for a long time to bring an Apple certified location to Napa,” said Zetina.

IT Director, Erich Jinks remarked, “I’m very proud of the team we have today, and that we’ve been able to keep them despite these challenging times. They are the reason we are here today.”

The Apple Independent Repair Provider program is a qualification only granted to a few companies who have met strict service and knowledge requirements. In 2020, Computer Engineering Group was granted that honor.

Computer Engineering Group specializes in IT Services, Apple / PC, smartphone and tablet repair. CEG continues to provide excellent technical support to students, residential and business customers.

Late in 2020, a recycling event was held to collect E-Waste of all kinds. Desktops, laptops, monitors, phones and tablets were all dropped off and properly disposed of. A big thank you to CEG’s longtime client Napa Recycling Waste Services for working together in the solution for E-Waste disposal. “The turnout was fantastic,” said Eric Ross, CEG General Manager. “It’s my hope that we can make this happen annually in the future.’ The heart of Computer Engineering Group is its team. The engineering staff, the dispatch team, the mobile and computer repair technicians that care so much for their clients, many of whom have become friends over the years. This new building will allow for further growth, keeping the team under one roof and additions of important services for the community. Jorge Zetina and family.

We are an Essential Business!

money sense

Checklist: 7 Things Every Alzheimer’s Caregiver Should Know Use these tips to help you keep your loved ones safe as you manage the financial aspects of caregiving. It can be enormously challenging — both financially and emotionally — to care for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Your advisor can assist you in developing a plan that helps you manage the extra financial costs involved. But keeping your loved one safe at home often falls on you alone. Cynthia Hutchins, director of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions, Bank of America, recommends taking the following simple steps to care for your family member, even as you grapple with the financial challenges of caregiving. For more tips, insights and advice, read the “The Journey of Caregiving: Honor, Responsibility and Financial Complexity,” a Merrill study conducted in partnership with Age Wave. Fifty million people globally were living with the disease in 2018, and by 2050, that number is projected to multiply to 152 million, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International. There is also increasing public awareness of the emotional and financial toll that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can take. “These simple steps can help you keep your loved ones safe, as you grapple with the larger financial and emotional issues of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia,” says Cynthia Hutchins, director of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions, Bank of America.

1. Keep medical and financial records close at hand These include an advanced medical directive, which describes your loved one’s treatment preferences, a durable power of attorney, which specifies who is allowed to make medical decisions for the patient, and an updated will. Talk to your advisor about other documents that might help, plus steps you might take to protect your assets in the future.

6. Reduce water temperature Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to prevent scalding from hot water. 7. Prepare for emergencies Create and post a list of phone numbers for fire, poison control, your hospital and a designated friend who’s willing to help.

2. Make sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are working properly Consider installing smoke detectors with flashing lights to help alert loved ones who may have impaired hearing. Find For more information, contact out the cost of making other structural Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor changes that could increase safety. Eric F. Gonzales in the Napa, CA, office 3. Purchase a medical alert bracelet at 707.254.4606 This will inform a medical professional or about any specialized needs your loved one might have in case they wander off. 4. Lock down potential hazards Install childproof locks on medicine and liquor cabinets, on kitchen cabinets containing cleaning supplies and on drawers containing knives, scissors or matches. 5. Plan ahead to prevent falls Remove scatter rugs, exposed extension cords and clutter. Install grab bars in bathrooms and increase lighting in stairwells, entries and halls. Use nightlights where needed.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc. (“MLLA”) is a licensed insurance agency and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Investment products offered through MLPF&S, and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA:

Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Deposits

Are Not Bank Guaranteed Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency

May Lose Value Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity

© 2020 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. | MAP3144193 | WP-08-20-0261.A | 472503PM-0420 | 08/2020

Buyers are




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Because the only way we get past this, is if we do it together.

Ellen Politz

Associate Partner Cal BRE# 01860953 707.363.2133 (direct) 888.864.4133 (fax) 1405 Second Street, Napa

Stay Safe, Napa!

Ellen Politz Sells The Napa Valley Thank you for your constant referrals!

Congratulations, Linda McClure!



45 YEARS OF SERVICE Heartfelt thanks for your countless contributions to our organization and its members.

Happy Anniversary!

California Winegrower Foundation dba Ag Health Benefits Alliance

5 Financial Plaza, Suite 116 Napa, CA 94558 | (707) 963-7191 |

February 2021


Contents FEBRUARY 2021






CEG Expands Its Services


Merrill | Money Sense Checklist: 7 Things Every Alzheimer’s Caregiver Should Know


Napa County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse By Kathleen Reynolds


Napa’s Generous Restaurants Continue to Quietly Give Back By Lisa Adams Walter

305 Soscol Avenue, Napa 707-257-9701 |



Napa County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse

­ UBLISHER | Napa Marketplace Publishing, Inc. P EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | Connie Anderson SALES EXECUTIVES | Erica Pickett CREATIVE DIRECTOR - GRAPHIC DESIGN | Suzanne Nott GRAPHIC DESIGN | Alicen Curtis ACCOUNTING MANAGER | Kelly Hurst WEB EDITOR | Suzanne Nott Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine 1556 First St., Suite 103, Napa, CA 94559 | P: 707.226.2474 | F: 707.339.8332


February 2021

Napa’s Generous Restaurants Continue to Quietly Give Back

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lisa Adams Walter Kathleen Reynolds

napavalleymarketplacemagazine nvmarketplace nv_marketplace

The Marketplace Magazine© is a division of Napa Marketplace Publishing, Inc. Copyright© February 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Over 36,000 distributed in Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and American Canyon.

We’ve Got You Covered SINCE 1867

In times of uncertainty, it is nice to know who you can count on.

Bank of Stockton has been a source of strength and stability for more than a century and a half. We’ve helped generations of

families and businesses through good times and tough times. We

Phil Rapp AVP Community Branch Manager (707) 492-3751

will always be here for our customers and our communities. All of our branches remain open with our staff of friendly professionals ready to help. As uncertain times continue, rely on us! We’ve got you covered when it comes to your banking and financial needs.

IN NAPA 1505 Second Street

Mario Callegari VP Business Banking Center Manager (707) 492-3767

Napa County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse flag practice



MOUNTED POSSE by Kathleen Reynolds

Sheriff ’s Sergeant Jon Thompson isn’t an equestrian, but he was happy when the Napa County Sheriff ’s Department assigned him to be a liaison with the Napa Mounted Posse two years ago. “It’s a great organization,” says Thompson. “They are regular citizens who step up and help in times of need.” “The Posse are all volunteers,” he continues. “They love the community and want to give back. Our members come from different walks of life. We have a dispatcher, people in the wine industry, a paramedic, hospital workers and others.”


February 2021

The oldest working posse in the State of California, the group was organized in 1949. For more than seven decades, they have served the community. While their primary function is search and rescue by transporting equipment and conducting evidence searches in areas unreachable by ATVs, they are also activated during local emergencies, such as floods, as part of the Public Service Team. Madeleine Peterson is Captain of the Napa County Sheriff Mounted Posse. As Captain, she guides new members, helps in public service and creates exposure for the Posse. Born and raised in Napa County, has been riding since about the age of eight. During childhood,

Mounted Posse, Alysen and Madi, in front of Sheriff pick up

Peterson learned everything equine at a pony ranch.

various camps so we can reach them in an emergency.”

“I watched the Mounted Posse in parades as a child,” says Peterson about her interest in the Posse. “A friend of mine from team roping was in the Posse. I thought it was cool and a fun way to interact with my horse.”

Members live throughout the County, from Angwin to Calistoga, Pope Valley and Napa. The volunteers are active in donating medical equipment to those in need. The Posse takes pride in their support of the community and is very involved in charitable, civic events and lending a hand to deserving organizations.

What does she like best about the Posse? “I love all of it,” says Peterson. “We get to have our horses exposed to different experiences such as being near helicopters. I enjoy it when children run up and want to know about the horses. I remember doing the same thing when I was little.” Recently, the Posse rode through Skyline Park. “We visited transient camps to bring them resources, including suggesting safer places for them to live,” she says. “It allowed us to become more familiar with the people and the locations of the

The community, in turn, supports the Posse. Pre-COVID, their annual Crab Feed sold out in a few days and many businesses and organizations donated prizes for their raffle. Funds raised, and other generous donations, not only support the operations of the Posse, but are also passed on in order to sponsor youth athletics and agriculture. “The Posse always participated in local events such as parades,” Sgt. Thompson says. “They also

took part in long distance rides. COVID changed that but as we move forward and become a larger organization then we’ll resume those activities.” The Posse, considered an Auxiliary Unit, currently numbers 11, along with two sworn deputies who act as liaisons with the Sheriff ’s Department. The Unit is currently recruiting new members, although COVID has slowed some applicant processing efforts such as background checks. “I’m proud to be part of the Posse and I take pride in our other members,” says Peterson. “We welcome all people and are honored to be about to help law enforcement and the community.” Captain Peterson wants the public to know the Posse has kept up with modern times. “The Posse is progressive, not old school.”

February 2021


Napa Mounted Posse Lineup: Jethro, Alysen Folkens, Al Carravajal, Lee Williams, Justin Rist, Madi Peterson and Jewel

Volunteers include men and women spanning different age ranges. “We welcome all types of horses, too. We have a good time and new members shouldn’t feel intimidated because we all learn together. We understand that most horses aren’t familiar with flares, being around emergency vehicles or aircraft. There’s lots of training and we’re looking forward to more education, especially in search and rescue.”

Do you or someone you know have an interest in volunteering with the Napa Mounted Posse? There are some conditions but, if you qualify, Sergeant Thompson and Posse Captain Peterson welcome your application. The group previously held monthly meetings, but until that resumes, please contact Sgt. Jon Thompson at or visit for information.

Join the Posse Requirements: In order to be part of the Mounted Posse, the following minimum requirements must be met: • Own or have exclusive access to a horse, truck, and horse trailer. • Demonstrate horsemanship skills. • Pass a background investigation. • Live in or have a reasonable response time to Napa County. • Be in reasonably good health, able to mount your horse without aid. • And must possess the will and desire to volunteer your time to assist the Sheriff’s Department in its commitment to the community.

Visit for more information. 12

February 2021

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February 2021



It’s not just sharing a home it is sharing life!


MATCH-UP PROGRAM A FREE SERVICE We match home providers who have an extra room in their home, with renters seeking an affordable place to live in Napa County. We screen and check references for each candidate and refer potential housemates to one another. We help facilitate the home sharing agreements, and are available for follow up questions and concerns.




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Sunrooms • Patio Covers Equinox (motorized covers) • Awnings

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February 2021

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d Ba r

Angèle R estaurant an


Bettina Ro


Napa Valley Restaurants have not only been in the trenches for nearly a year, they have more movingly been in the foxhole for our community, fighting for all of us, and each other. The key to success in a foxhole is the ability to rely on others—you need to know that someone has your back.

La Taberna



While as a community, we have all been frustrated by the challenges and changes in our lives caused by disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is well known that restaurants are one business sector that have been faced with mounting obstacles and suffered tremendous loss.


Ben Robinso

p House

Cole’s Ch o

Eric Keffe

r ant La Toque Restaur

Ken Frank 18

February 2021

Over the years, whether it be a school fundraiser, a charity auction, or a campaign to support someone in need, the restaurants are repeatedly asked for donations of gift certificates, food, services, use of space and dine and donate nights. In the best of times, and even the worst of times, restaurateurs are caregivers and repeatedly step up to help those in need.


“After an amazing 2019, 2020 was probably the most challenging year of my entire career,” owner Justin Graffigna of Il Posto Trattoria said, “The pandemic lasted far longer than anyone anticipated and is still continuing. It posed so many difficulties and uncertainties no one was anticipating. Closing down to to-go food only, reopening outdoor, opening to 25%, then to 50%, back to outdoors, and finally back to takeout only. It’s been like a yo-yo, with lots of ups and lots of downs.” “Every time we figure out what to do, and think, ‘hey this is cool, we’ve got this,’ it all changes,” said owner Chuck Meyer of Napa Palisades Saloon, referencing the ever-changing restrictions and allowances imposed upon restaurants. “Every situation is unprecedented, and as a restaurant, you don’t have a business model for it until you have done it for a few weeks—then you get a pattern, and then they change it.” Every dining establishment has experienced the restrictions put in place for staff and customer safety. Creativity and reinvention of business has been paramount. Most now offer takeout or delivery,

Restaurants Heritage Eats


by Lisa Adams Walter

Thomas F in



“Reflecting on the past ten—almost eleven—years of our restaurant, I can honestly say that the past 11 months were the most challenging of my career as a chef and a restaurant owner,” said chef and owner Tyler Rodde of Oenotri. “Nothing has threatened our existence like the shutdowns required by this pandemic.”

za Grotto

Bettina Rouas of Angèle Restaurant and Bar reports that 2020 was the hardest year of her life, “The biggest challenge was figuring out what to do next to keep going and help my staff. 2021 unfortunately was not the start we had hoped, and we are still trying to figure out how to stay relevant and to stay positive.”

oenig Ali & Ben K

Filippi’s P iz

which adds to costs as to-go containers and packaging are pricey. Many have invested thousands of dollars to build expensive outdoor seating spaces—that sat vacant during the highest levels of shutdown. Some restaurants have followed closely in compliance, others have temporarily closed, while some have forever shuttered their doors.

“Staying safe. Constantly adapting to ever-changing conditions. Keeping my team together and safe until we can reopen, again,” are some of the challenges chef and owner Ken Frank of La Toque restaurant cites.

e Tyler Rodd uncan & Lauren D Il Posto

Owner Fred Corona of Taqueria Rosita added, “COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the hospitality business, in particular, businesses that are involved in food and beverage. Between the shelter-in-place orders and the reduction in occupancy of our dining rooms, it’s killing all restaurants. Some will get by, but if your employees are not working, you kind of feel responsible for that. I see that 2021 will be more of the same. The restaurant business is hard enough and then you throw in a pandemic and wildfires, it becomes a grim situation.”

Justin Graffigna

Pivoting from a full-service restaurant to takeout only was echoed by owner Thomas Finch of Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, “We have had to be creative in order to allow our staff to continue working in creative new jobs so that they can sustain their own livelihoods during this time. Many have chosen to leave the industry and the state as well. When we reopened, some staff did not want to return for fear of contracting the continued on page 22 February 2021


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February 2021


continued from page 19 virus. This left us short staffed upon reopening. Then there was the challenge of getting the products needed because many of the factories and plants were also closed, leaving shortages in the industry.” “The extended shelter-at-home guidelines over 2020, and now into 2021, require that business operators think and act differently to meet changing needs and demands across the community,” founder and owner Ben Koenig of Heritage Eats said, “This has broadly meant finding creative ways to serve locals more regularly at home, who are also handling their own new challenges. Many are juggling multiple responsibilities with work-from-home or adjusted working

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hours and virtual school. With the continued extension of shelter-in-place guidelines, personal habits and professional schedules have the potential to drastically change more permanently from pre-pandemic ways. All of this puts a high level of uncertainty on the future of any business, without strategic adjustments to future operations and marketing.” “Besides what everybody else is dealing with, keeping our staff taken care of and making sure that they are able to provide for their families has been challenging,” according to Director of Operations Allison Hallum of Eiko’s and Napa Noodles, “We accomplished this by paying fair living wages above minimum wage. We also used our staff to freshen up the restaurant and work on deep cleaning and maintenance projects, giving them some hours to support their families while we are closed.” Hallum, whose family owns both restaurants, also noted that they changed internal tipping procedures so that everyone could still pay their mortgage and put their kids through school. “We didn’t want their lives to be disrupted,” she added, “It was really about taking care of those that worked for us, so they could take care of the community which has been so supportive and giving this past year. Every time we gave back, the community gave back to us tenfold.” The unknown future was also referenced within the challenges of 2020 and 2021 by owner Eric Keffer of Cole’s Chop House, “The uncertainty. You could change and pivot, but the decisions you make could have long-term ramifications. If you don’t change up your mindset, you won’t have a business to come back to. Another challenge is the changing dining culture, certain aspects after COVID will change. People will want more space between tables, and certain aspects of table service will have to be changed. The challenges that are unforeseen are the hardest to adapt to.”


Stretched thin and beleaguered, restaurateurs are faced with daily business decisions that include staff reductions, layoffs, supplier relations, safety and compliance. Most have had to make huge personal investments and sacrifices, realizing all along, the importance of their industry and the integral role that restaurants play within the county. Many Napa families employed by restaurants are in a tough spot. Our community is fragile, and the needs are high. In response, the restaurant community has quietly banded together in the face of this seemingly unreal situation. Rather than duck and cover, the restaurants are continuing to give back.

Napa Palisades donations

Mick Salyer of La Taberna Napa and ZuZu said that even in these times of angst and loss, “We as restaurateurs feed people in mass and it is easy for us to step up and feed those in need. At the start of the pandemic, a group of restaurant folks got together to figure out the needs of our community, be it the laid off employees, all the way down to the homeless.” “What you find in hospitality is people who are to their core, unsurprisingly, hospitable. It’s who we are, it’s in our DNA. We serve people. Whether it’s the pride and joy of cooking or serving others, bringing comfort and pleasure to others is what makes us tick,” said Chef Ken Frank, “Resilience is also in our DNA. In the best of times this is a difficult business, and we are a resourceful lot. So when the going gets tough, well, we’re pretty ready for that too. To be good at hospitality, you have to have a generous heart.” Many restaurants are now connected to and an important part of the operating fabric of social services such as the South Napa Homeless Shelter, Feeding it Forward, Rainbow House, Feed Napa Now and The Salvation Army. Chuck Meyer of Napa Palisades Saloon and First and Franklin Marketplace says that he thinks that restaurant

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Thomas Finch at Filippi’s continues to give, as this is the community that we live in and raise our children in. “We continue to support out first responders and COVID testers on an ongoing basis, because it’s the right thing to do.” Filippis also offers a 10% discount to first responders, provided food to the frontline during the wildfires, and fed his own staff and their families while they were out of work. Taqueria Rosita has helped with Feed Napa Now, and according to Fred Corona, “In the beginning of the pandemic we were feeding staff at Queen of The Valley Hospital. We later helped out the COVID testing center volunteers for lunch for about a month. During the wildfires, we helped The Salvation Army with meals for all of our displaced neighbors. Doing these things feels great for me and my staff!” Angèle reports that they have donated food to local shelters and fed the community during the fires, “Aside from the shelters, we have been raising money to help out our staff,” Bettina Rouas explained. They have developed a GoFundMe page on their website, all gratuities go to the staff, and the first week of sales went to their staff as well.

Cole’s Chop House donation prep continued from page 23 Napa Now, the Boys & Girls Clubs, Rainbow House, the COVID-19 testing site and The Salvation Army. When Wendi Moore from the South Napa Homeless shelter called Ken Frank to ask if they could pick up another day to serve lunch, he realized that La Toque had an opportunity to do something positive at a terrible time. “That made the decision easy, and we committed to do all five days a week. My banquet department was and remains closed, we had the capacity, and we didn’t want to waste it. This community has been so good to us that we felt whatever we could do to help was just the right thing to do.” Now that other restaurants are participating, La Toque is covering two days per week. To be able to cook gave Frank’s culinary team purpose, “Cooks live to cook, it’s what we do even when we’re not ‘working.’ And it felt really good to make a difference. It quickly became more too, as the community rallied around our efforts. We put a donation button for the shelter on the landing page of our website, and our friends contributed a huge sum to pay for the singleuse supplies that the shelter had to use due to COVID precautions, as well as, supplement the food available from the Food Bank.” 26

February 2021

“I think it is important to always give back to the place I was born and raised,” said Justin Graffigna of Il Posto, “I’m not sure that I have denied a donation request that has been for our local community. Our outlook on the pandemic is that we are all in this together, so we have to help in any way possible. Although that sounds cliché, it’s the truth. I’d do anything for this community that has given us so much support, to me and to my business. What comes around goes around.” Il Posto has donated to various GoFundMe campaigns for people who lost homes during the fires, and provided meals for people who were displaced. The restaurant sent lunches to frontline workers, nurses and COVID testing staff. “During the pandemic we have continued to do Dine and Donates for various local organizations and schools. I feel it is important to always be involved in keeping our local community and economy afloat,” Graffigna added. Pre-pandemic at Heritage Eats, the team—which in addition to Ben Koenig includes co-owner Ali Koenig and General Manager Charles Whittaker—enjoyed regularly planning Dine and Donates with local community groups, donating gift cards and food donations for events, and sponsoring youth sports leagues. “To continue to give back to the community as community needs have greatly increased,” said Ben Koenig, “We have developed a few restaurant programs including virtual Dine and Donates—meaning proceeds are donated from online orders, with food donations to the Boys & Girls Club, and most notably our Pay It Forward campaign. This

evolved into a partnership with the community where folks could purchase a discounted meal from the restaurant, and we would donate food bundles to local frontline groups including the COVID testing site, local hospitals and others. We received a large donation from the local law firm Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty and were able to turn that around and serve over $5,000 in meals across the community.” At Cole’s Chop House, Eric Keffer is clear about the reason that they give back, “It’s the right thing to do! It’s not about getting public recognition, it’s about showing our love to those that reside in our community. Also, to show our appreciation for what these individuals are doing to serve and support our community. It’s very humbling to live in a community where there’s a public outcry to support first responders and emergency service responders.” Cole’s has also supplied lunches to firefighters, fire victims, the Boys & Girls Club of Napa Valley, nursing homes and Queen of the Valley Hospital.


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“The restaurants give back to the community because it is in our nature to serve those around us. We also give back because we know how important it is to have community support, especially in times like these,” Allison Hallum of Eiko’s added, “We live here, our kids go to school here, our friends and families have businesses here. I am so grateful for our community, and we are very quiet about our support, yet it is easy to give back to a community that is so supportive of the restaurant community.” Just as Eric Keffer said, Hallum added, “We just do it because it’s the right thing to do.” Eiko’s and Napa Noodles donated several meals to PG&E, first responders and COVID testing site volunteers, as well as, provided gift certificates to wildfire evacuees.

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“Restaurants are built on the premise of nurturing people, and we love every opportunity we get to do that, whether it’s a regular dinner service in the dining room, a meal donation to Feed Napa Now, or a charity event for the Boys & Girls Club or Crush Napa Valley. We look forward to getting back to those days, but we continue to face a tremendous amount of unknowns. One thing is certain: we will only exist on the other side of this pandemic with the continued support of our local community,” said Tyler Rodde of Oentori. Mick Salyer of La Taberna and ZuZu said, “We were quick to confer with Wendi Moore with Adobe Services and I moved forward to feed the homeless families at Rainbow House here in Napa. So ZuZu Wood Fired Paella, working with ZuZu tapas and La Taberna, picked up Fridays to help feed the mothers and kids at the Rainbow House with a paella dinner. We also fed the COVID testing crew weekly, the Boys & Girls Club and any ‘industry staff ’ that needed a meal.”

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NAPA Restaurants Giving Back

Napa Noodles donation When asked why restaurants are continuing to give, Salyer remarked, “This is such an interesting question as most restaurants are struggling to survive, but yet still, most every restaurant that I know is digging deep, deeper than their means, to help the people that have less. It is so indicative of our industry. We do far more than just serve food, it is about community, caring and hospitality.” “There is enough food, the system just doesn’t deliver the last ¼ mile to many of the people in need. Everyone in this great country should have enough healthy, nutritious and tasty food to eat, period. Eliminating hunger is a solvable problem and needs to be a priority, said Ken Frank of La Toque, who gleans inspiration from Chef José Andrés founder of World Central Kitchen. “For the last few years, some of the most enlightened global moral leadership has come from a chef. I could not be more proud of him and am thrilled to do what I can in my own community. Chefs rock!” “Many of our fellow restaurateurs may not recover from these closures,” Thomas Finch of Filippi’s stated, “All have saved money all of their lives to see their dreams come true. They leveraged their homes and borrowed money because of the joy of seeing a smile on the faces of the customers they serve. This is why we do what we do. Being in the restaurant business requires an unbelievable workload. Most work seven days a week to see their dreams come true.” “Breaking even and working all these hours is not very self gratifying, but what is gratifying, is knowing that we were here for our community,” added Justin Graffigna of Il Posto. “It’s touching to live in a community when so many businesses do this as the norm,” Eric Keffer of Cole’s Chop House added. Speaking of his colleagues, Chuck Meyer of Napa Palisades concluded, “All of these people that are used to giving in abundance, they have been challenged throughout the pandemic. But these guys are still coming through, and they will continue to do so after all of this is done. Maybe even more so.” 28

February 2021

The following is a partial list of Napa restaurants that are giving back. Several are accepting donations to offset the costs. Donations can also be made to Feed Napa Now. Check each restaurant website, as several have donation buttons online. Support these businesses by ordering food, purchasing gift cards, making donations and then dining on site when local regulations allow. Angele Bounty Hunter Charter Oak Cole’s Chop House Compline Dutch Door Eiko’s Filippi’s Pizza Grotto First & Franklin Marketplace Gott’s Roadside Heritage Eats Il Posto Trattoria Ristorante Allegria La Taberna La Toque Napa Noodles Napa Palisades Saloon Oenotri Press Tarla Taqueria Rosita Zuzu


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