(Winners are listed by size category and then alphabetically by company name.)
More than 1,000 employees
How the winners were chosen
PDF of Best Places to Work special SectionCosteaux French BakeryThird-time winner
HEALDSBURG -- For over 90 years employees at this classic French bakery have worked diligently to ensure that guests receive outstanding service and enjoy fresh, wholesome products with consistent quality.
"The fact that we can produce more than 200 different baked goods a day shows that the owner really cares," a coworker said. "He works as hard as we do to make the business grow in an uncertain economy."
CEO William K. Seppi said, "We strive to balance benefits, opportunity, fellowship and a sense of belonging throughout the organization for our 80 employees. Our core values of community, service, quality, fellowship and family are woven into everything we do."
Costeaux recently upgraded its fleet to improve its ability to deliver its product line.
"The new low emission vans are beautiful, clean and well maintained. It makes all of us proud to work here."
The company continues to develop new products while keeping in touch with customers and being active in the local community.
"It's not only the work that's being done, but the fact that employees are acknowledged. There is a caring feeling from our managers, a family atmosphere and the welcoming nature of our environment that makes Costeaux a Best Place to Work," several employees said.Don Sebastiani & SonsFirst-time winner
SONOMA -- Don Sebastiani & Sons is an innovator in the wine industry with creative brands and excellent wine making in an atmosphere that inspires employees to do their best and appreciates them for their efforts.
"The key to weathering all storms is to empower our employees to find solutions. If we have the right people aligned in the right places, pointed in the right direction and encouraged to make decisions, problems are solved," according to Donny Sebastiani, president and CEO.
"This is the first place I've ever worked where the owner knows me as a person, and will stop and have a five-minute conversation with me," an employee said.
Challenging business issues are dealt with by keeping communications open and by allowing employees to be heard -- good or bad.
The company holds impromptu mini meetings, called "Festivus," and quarterly employee sessions titled "State of the Loomin" (a play on words for the flagship brand, Smoking Loon).
Loomin events include games and prizes, along with a discussion and review of quarterly successes over a company-provided lunch with dessert. There is also an annual event that includes significant others.
"We are not just cogs in a wheel. The people here are warm and inviting, enthusiastic, energetic and open to new ideas. We have an incredibly gifted and focused team."First Community BankEight-time winner
SANTA ROSA -- At FCB all 79 employees pride themselves on excellent client relations, a factor that makes them stand out as being part of the best locally owned and operated bank in the area, regardless of the world's economic situation.
The bank had to struggle, but through innovation, flexibility and by looking for other opportunities, today there is light at the end of the tunnel growing brighter each day, employees say.