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Success stories

Noyo Theatre, Willits

The Noyo Theatre is a classic movie theater that opened in the small town of Willits, CA in 1940. Jeff and Lois Hoover are former entertainment industry employees (Lois in film, Jeff in theater) from Southern California who moved to Willits in 2011 with the dream of starting their own business in this community-oriented small town. After reviewing several local businesses for sale with their SBDC advisor, Jeff and Lois Hoover negotiated an SBA loan and the purchase of The Noyo Theatre in June of 2012.

Donut Savant, Oakland

Laurel Davis moved to Oakland from Seattle, where coffee and donuts are a staple, and she still hadn’t found a local donut shop that she loved. So she just started making donuts on her own and serving them to her friends at home and at her art studio, where she builds furniture out of old industrial objects. Everyone loved them, and then one day she saw a Craigslist ad for a donut shop that was going out of business. So she just went for it — quit her corporate day job and completely redid the space.

Spirit Works Distillery, Sebastopol

The Distillery’s plan is to be a small scale, artisan craft distillery and will produce and distribute high end, premium spirits and liquors in the US, including, but not limited to Gin, Traditional English Sloe Gin, and Whiskey. The Distillery will occupy at least 4-6000 feet of warehouse space in Sebastopol area of Sonoma County. The new business has secured financing and is in the initial start-up phase with the lease of a location in the Barlow Center of Sebastopol and renovations underway and is set to open in Jan 2013. The purchase the equipment needed for the operation has been ordered and set for deliver from Germany in Oct.

Hip Chick Farms, Sebastopol

Hip Chick Farms makes hand-crafted, delicious frozen chicken fingers, chicken meatballs, chicken wings and chicken stock, with all-natural, sustainable ingredients and practices. Hip Chick Farms was created from Chef Jen’s Johnson’s love of food and family, and offers family friendly solutions for lunch and dinner time.

Chef Johnson has served as the Executive Private Chef for Ann & Gordon Getty in San Francisco for the last 11 years, cooking for President Obama, celebrities and Bay Area personalities. Prior to working for the family, she worked at the legendary Chez Panisse for ten years alongside amazing chefs and visionary, Alice Waters.

Humboldt Heartland, Humboldt County

Humboldt Heartland is a story of ranching on California's remote North Coast. Fifth generation resident and rancher Andy Westfall has visited ranches throughout Humboldt County since 1996, photographing and conducting interviews for this book. Each of the book's five chapters: The Lore; The Landscape; The Livelihood; The Life; and The Legacy, are filled with beautiful photographs and the voices of the people - ranchers, woodsmen, young and old, men, women, and children. The book documents the past, present, and future of this unpretentious way of life through the stories, the rugged beauty of Humboldt, the hard work and the humor, and the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for these ranching families.

The Mike Young Team LLC, Fairfield

Mike Young is an FHA 203k Consultant, a Real Estate Consultant and a Home Design Consultant. Mike performs feasibility analysis per 203k guidelines to assist homebuyers and real estate agents in making an offer on homes needing repairs.

Mike was an FHA Real estate appraiser from 1992-2004 and home inspector for over 30 years. Now Mike teaches seminars instructing for Continuing Education (CE) credits for appraisers and home inspectors. He has developed his own software for 203k report writing, which is now purchased and used by consultants nationally. Through his seminars, his software and his books, Mike trains lenders, consultants, home inspectors, architects, engineers, and contractors in the ways of FHA 203k.

Obsessive Confection Disorder, Fairfield

Melodi Donahue began making confections professionally a few years ago, switching entirely to vegan formulas in April 2011. The name of her company is a clever play upon a very real debilitating condition that plagues her personal and professional life – obsessive compulsive disorder. Her intellectually humorous names for her products continue the theme of having fun while enjoying treats made without any animal-derived ingredients. Her presence has been noticed worldwide as a result of her involvement with various animal rights organizations.

CARE for the Bay Area, Los Gatos

CARE for the Bay Area is a new medical clinic and embryology laboratory providing personalized care for people attempting to build families. A full range of reproductive technologies is provided in a warm comfortable setting. CARE focuses specifically on treatments that are designed to reduce the cost, emotional stress, technological intervention, and ethical dilemmas often associated with infertility treatment. CARE for the Bay Area offers a full spectrum of infertility services, including medical tests to diagnose infertility, medical advice and treatments to help a woman become pregnant, and services other than routine prenatal care to help to prevent miscarriage. In only the first months of operations, CARE was able to provide successful outcomes for six families.

Beverly Leftwich, MS MFT, Cupertino

Before Beverly Leftwich, MS MFT, started her couple and individual counseling and therapy practice, she was a landscape architect and found her calling through volunteering her time in couples and individual recovery on drug & alcohol addiction. She gained a lot of satisfaction from her volunteer work and decided to switch careers and pursue the path of clinical counseling and therapy for individuals, couples and families.

Beverly is a graduate of Dominican University of California with a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology. She completed the required 3,000 hours of internship before passing the exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. One of her specialties is in the area of addiction recovery and couples counseling.

Next Phase Solar, Inc., San Rafael

Next Phase Solar provides Operations and Maintenance services to organizations with investment in Solar Energy. They bring 10 years of experience maintaining commercial and utility scale PV (photovoltaic) systems and focus on quality and customer service. Their dedication to driving reliability in the Renewable Energy Industry makes them a valuable partner for any organization that is interested in playing a role in the operation of PV plants.

Calling on Next Phase gives solar system owners increased return on your investment, and the peace of mind that their investment is being managed by experienced professionals.