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Success stories

Cake Plate, Napa

BACKGROUND
Cake Plate started in 2007 by Lindsay Kroll selling designer clothes for women and is operated as a sole proprietorship. The name of the business comes from Lindsay's fondness for old cake plates. Lindsay grew up in Napa and worked in the area prior to opening this store. Her great number of relatives, friends and acquaintances has been very instrumental in the growth of the business. In addition Lindsay has a good eye for design, decorating and creating unique displays. Business is generated not only at the store but with periodic "Trunk" shows in store and in private homes, including San Francisco. Recently, Cake Plate has expanded it’s client base.

Backroom Wines, Napa

BACKGROUND
Initially, Dan first sought advice from the SBDC in 2001, on opening a business, how to write a business plan and financial assistance. Backroom Wines was opened 10 years ago by Dan Dawson and is operated as a sole proprietorship. Business growth dictated expanding and it is now in its second location. Dan operates the business with one employee. Prior to opening his own business, Dan opened several similar operations including developing wine clubs. With his experience and client base, Dan was able to grow sales and become profitable from the start. His initial concept was to be in a back industrial area, hence the business name. However, an opportunity for a location in downtown Napa became available and Dan decided some foot traffic was desirable to add to his existing base and be plus for business. It made sense as at the time downtown Napa had little foot traffic and would not interfere with the more profitable part of the operation. 

Superior Food Safety, Napa

 
BACKGROUND
Oscar Camacho is multi-talented, multi-culture and bi-lingual.  He comes from Colombia and operates his business globally.  He also has a passion for food safety.  
In working with the Napa Small Business Development Center, he created a clear marketing strategy, and he followed his plan with intense dedication and follow-through.  Business Model
First he recognized an emerging trend in the food industry, the urgent need for standardized food laws and regulations, and the systems to implement them.  He then positioned himself as an independent food safety consultant.
CHALLENGES
The SBDC advisor helped Oscar write and design his business collateral.  Writing text for his website helped him define and clarify his target audience and his objectives.  He uses his website as a highly effective marketing tool.
Oscar was willing to complete the really hard work, like go to school and get all those food safety certifications.  He is SQF certified– Safe Quality Foods, a global organization.  He also joined the Retail World Wide Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI Initiative) and got involved in standardizing food safety worldwide.  
RESULTS
He is one among only 200 food safety experts, world wide.  He landed ongoing accounts immediately.  There was great need in the industry, he seized the opportunities, and positioned himself as an expert in his field.  
He became a coach and trainer at Safe Quality Foods in Emeryville, teaching food safety, and is presently a food safety consultant and auditor referred by Safe Quality Foods.  He works with Bay Area food manufacturing companies and beyond, to ensure their compliance with new food safety laws.
“The Napa Small Business Development Center advisor, Carolynne Gamble, provided the key elements for the success of my business. I would have not been able to develop the strategy in such a short time without the support I received to develop the marketing plan and web site for my business,” said Oscar.
Superior Food Safety
Oscar Camacho
707-337-5727
oscarcamacho@superiorfoodsafety.com
www.superiorfoodsafety.comBACKGROUND
Oscar Camacho is multi-talented, multi-culture and bi-lingual.  He comes from Colombia and operates his business globally.  He also has a passion for food safety.  
In working with the Napa Small Business Development Center, he created a clear marketing strategy, and he followed his plan with intense dedication and follow-through.  Business Model
First he recognized an emerging trend in the food industry, the urgent need for standardized food laws and regulations, and the systems to implement them.  He then positioned himself as an independent food safety consultant.
CHALLENGES
The SBDC advisor helped Oscar write and design his business collateral.  Writing text for his website helped him define and clarify his target audience and his objectives.  He uses his website as a highly effective marketing tool.
Oscar was willing to complete the really hard work, like go to school and get all those food safety certifications.  He is SQF certified– Safe Quality Foods, a global organization.  He also joined the Retail World Wide Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI Initiative) and got involved in standardizing food safety worldwide.  
RESULTS
He is one among only 200 food safety experts, world wide.  He landed ongoing accounts immediately.  There was great need in the industry, he seized the opportunities, and positioned himself as an expert in his field.  
He became a coach and trainer at Safe Quality Foods in Emeryville, teaching food safety, and is presently a food safety consultant and auditor referred by Safe Quality Foods.  He works with Bay Area food manufacturing companies and beyond, to ensure their compliance with new food safety laws.
“The Napa Small Business Development Center advisor, Carolynne Gamble, provided the key elements for the success of my business. I would have not been able to develop the strategy in such a short time without the support I received to develop the marketing plan and web site for my business,” said Oscar.
Superior Food Safety
Oscar Camacho
707-337-5727
oscarcamacho@superiorfoodsafety.com

BACKGROUND
Oscar Camacho is multi-talented, multi-culture and bi-lingual. He comes from Colombia and operates his business globally. He also has a passion for food safety.

In working with the Napa Small Business Development Center, he created a clear marketing strategy, and he followed his plan with intense dedication and follow-through.

Platypus Tours Limited, Napa

Winery Touring Business Grows in Recession

BACKGROUND
This business was opened in August 2004 with a 5 year plan to reach $1.2 million in revenue. To date, there has been good growth but the company has not reached the projection for the current period. The owner, Don Rickard, has an extensive background in the restaurant business and has been able to employ 7 people including the owner.

Tours, which feature primarily smaller wineries, typically last around 6 hours. Each driver is familiar with about 40 wineries the company frequents and design the daily tour based upon inquiries regarding tastes and interests of the passengers that day.

Don began working with the Napa Valley College SBDC in the summer of 2007 and has continued to grow the business and thrive in a difficult economic environment.

Hospitality Professionals Attend NVC Hospitality Symposium

Cindy Pawlcyn was the highly entertaining keynote speaker at the 5th Annual Napa Valley College Hospitality Symposium held recently at Upper Valley Campus. This nationally known author and chef was charming, endearing and quite unassuming. She began the educational forum with funny stories about her experience on Food Network Top Chef Masters. In short order - the sold out crowd was “eating out of her hand,” so to speak.

Suite Treatments, Vallejo

Suite Treatments – A NxLevel Success Story

Taking a business to the “NxLevel” requires extensive planning and hard work. Two diligent SBDC clients recently completed the NxLevel Business Training and during the 10-week course, they worked with SBDC advisors to help bring Suite Treatments to the “next level” of success.  Owner/CEO Jacque Barsotti and Vice President, Rachelle Dizon completed the SBDC NxLeveL course and together they wrote an extensive business plan, plus handled a few challenges along the way...

BumRite Diapers, Napa

Angela Powell came to the SBDC office for advice on the development of her business plan for e-commerce sales of wash-at-home reusable cloth diapers.  SBDC Business Advisor Jerry Jinnett reviewed the business planning process and followed up by submitting a research request that provided information on customer identification, trends, and diaper-buying issues. Angela has gotten her business up and running: she has developed her website,  and because of the qualified leads generated from the internet that land potential customers on specific pages within the website, the business has turned a profit – just 12 weeks after launching the website!  Social Media marketing (aka Twitter, Facebook and Blogging) and the use of the local Yahoo! Email Group – Napa Moms Club, has enabled Angela to reach over 350 qualified customers in the Napa Valley and thousands more on the internet.  She also created and printed 5”x7” flyers and handed them out with samples of the actual diapers to local OB/GYNs and Pediatricians advising potential customers of the benefits of cloth diapering: Easy, Economical, and Environmentally Friendly.

Net Flow Corporation, Napa

Company Profile - Net-Flow Corporation is a technology business that provides a range of customized options for Web hosting, E-Business design and development, and network/IT support and consultation for small to medium-sized businesses. Beginning in 2003 and continuing throughout 2004, owner Dean Bowen developed a new series of low cost products -marketed to small businesses- that streamline customer relationships, internet marketing and internet commerce through technology applications. Located in Napa, CA the company was founded in 1995 by Dean Bowen and has enjoyed modest success during and after the boom and bust of Silicon Valley’s “Dot.Coms.”

Fractal Spirit, Napa

Timothy Helgeson is a digital artist living and working in the Napa, California and owner of Fractal Spirit Arts. His award-winning art has shown in San Francisco at the Blue Gallery, Galleria de la Raza, the Mexican Museum, Saint Mary's Cathedral, and various places in the Napa Valley. His line of cards is sold nationally. He has been featured on the cover of the New Age magazine, "Bodhi Tree Book Review," and was a Burning Man artist. His work is in the collections of celebrities including: Julie Harris, Burt Reynolds, Charles Nelson Reilly, Boz Skaggs, Steve Halpern, Dennis Kuchinich, and Robin Williams.

Hurley's Restaurant and Bar, Yountville

Background
The restaurant opened in November 2002 after an extensive renovation of a facility that closed due to declining profitability. The location was chosen because the owner was well know in the community, had a loyal following, and a group of private investors that would assist in cash flow requirements during the early stages. There is a 60-room hotel being built across the street that will offer opportunities for expanding group functions and services. In addition, the lower priced restaurants are disappearing, representing a great opportunity to meet the desires of those seeking quality with good service but not wanting to or being able to afford the most expensive establishments.