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Success stories

Wine Compliance Alliance, Napa

Ann started her career in 1989 in a tasting room. Then she moved into the winery lab at Beringer Vineyards, and eventually managed the lab for Sterling Vineyards. She also did some cellar work before focusing on compliance and tracking.  Along the way, she developed winemaking record systems for Sterling Vineyards, Viansa Winery, Caymus Vineyards and Conundrum Winery.

Ann worked for six years as Winemaking Records Coordinator for Caymus Vineyards, and she soon realized the value of her skills to understand the complex regulations for winemaking compliance. She spotted a crucial need in the wine industry and filled it.

She applied her penchant for details and even wrote a book on wine label compliance. Plus she has strategically established herself as an expert consultant in winery compliance. 

Railroad Cleaners, Pittsburg

Railroad Cleaners started their business in September 2009 with little knowledge of the dry cleaning and laundry industry. They began serving individuals and commercial clients offering free pick-up and delivery service utilizing two, limited part-time employees.

Several months after the business started, Tom and Svonne came to the Contra Costa SBDC through a referral from the Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board.  They had invested $35,000 from their 401K and signed a lease for a 2,000 sq.ft. facility. Both Tom and Svonne had college educations and felt confident that there was need for their business but wanted specifics of how to grow and to learn business management techniques.

Accurate C&S Services, Oakland

Accurate C&S Services is a nationwide drug and alcohol testing Consortium/Third Party Administration (C/TPA). We manage drug and alcohol testing programs for companies and employers nationwide. Our commitment at Accurate is to provide drug and alcohol testing services and assistance to keep companies compliant at the local, state and federal levels while providing ease of use customizable web-based systems for program management.

Niles Pie Company, Union City

The Niles Pie Company is based in Fremont, CA, and makes pie and pastry for our community using the best possible ingredients, local and seasonal, and, wherever possible, organic. Our baked goods reflect the delight we find in the bounty of the San Francisco Bay Area, and in the joy we experience in crafting wholesome and delicious baked goods for our friends and neighbors.

We take orders on line for pickup twice a week at a few locations, as well as several restaurant and wholesale accounts. Our selections change constantly, and our rotating menu keeps things interesting for our loyal customer base.

Hopland Ale House, Hopland

Hopland Ale House is located in the former Hopland Brewery off Highway 101 in Hopland. Jennifer Sullivan fell in love with the Hopland area and moved to Hopland from San Jose in April of 2012. She renovated the space and opened the Hopland Ale House for business in December of 2012. The Ale House serves beer, wine, sandwiches, chili, and a variety of other high-quality entrees and offers live music, televised sports, and other events to entertain patrons. Jennifer has had great reviews of her food, drink, and service since opening and showed a profit in her first month.

Saucy, Ukiah

"Saucy will be celebrating its third anniversary in October, 2015, and sometimes I have to pinch myself. I have never taken for granted the amount of gratitude that I owe to the Mendocino County SBDC, as without them and without my consultant, Nancy Banker, there would have never been a Saucy. They stuck with me over the course of two years and three business plans before we found the RIGHT DEAL! They were instrumental in helping me to find potential sources of funding, and oversaw all of my submissions to potential lenders. Nancy Banker was the rock that stood behind me when I wavered, and she reined me in when I got off track.  Mendocino County SBDC workshops in Profit Mastering, Marketing & Employee Management have also been an integral part in learning how to be a better operator, a better employer, and create better business.  While on a daily basis now, I attribute Saucy's success to the amazing team of employees that works hard every day for it, I know that Saucy wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for all of the efforts and support from Nancy and the Mendocino County SBDC. I highly recommend The Mendocino County SBDC to any serious entrepreneur with a solid business idea and the gumption to fulfill their dream!"

Crosbie Chiropractic, Fortuna

Crosbie Chiropractic officeCrosbie Chiropractic was founded in 1983 in Southern California and moved to Humboldt County in 2001, first to Rio Dell, then to Fortuna in 2006. Dr. Michael Crosbie is the owner and is dedicated to using chiropractic adjustments to alleviate a myriad of conditions, from low back pain to migraine headaches. He is the only local practitioner of the Koren Specific technique. He has written nearly 50 articles for the Times-Standard since 2005 and is dedicated to educating those who want to learn about how chiropractic treatments can improve overall health and well-being.

Sincere Home Decor, Oakland

This is a family owned business that started as a small mom and pop shop as "Sincere Hardware" in 1988 in Oakland selling strictly plumbing and hardware. Now, it has transformed into selling almost everything you need to remodel a house with and with 5 locations in the Bay Area.

Christina Anastasia, North Coast

Christina Swingdler is an artist who has worked in the jewelry industry since August of 1991. Always an entrepreneur at heart, Christina remembers creating and selling bracelets to her classmates as early as grade school. From creation to repairs, Christina is now well versed in her craft and has studied bead making (glass and clay), pearl knotting, and metalsmithing, in addition to the construction and engineering of jewelry. Her passion for arts and jewelry persisted from high school through Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, and Humboldt State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art and minors in Art History and Dance.

Home Helpers, San Ramon

Home Helpers of San Ramon is a franchise offering non-medical assistance and caring companionship to seniors, new mothers, individuals rehabilitating at home.

Robert Jo came to the Contra Costa SBDC in 2005 for help building his business. Home Helpers was a brand new franchise providing employee training, but Robert felt that it wasn't enough. A previous unsuccessful venture also convinced him the technical assistance would make all the difference with this one.