Send Business Brief items to news@busjrnl.com.

Gabriella’s Kitchen Inc. (CSE: GABY) of Santa Rosa announced a retail partnership with Calgary Co-operative Association Limited allowing select GABY products, under the Gabriella’s Kitchen brand, to be sold in Calgary Co-op grocery stores throughout outhern Alberta, Canada.

GABY develops, manufactures, produces and markets high-quality, nutritional food products, the company stated. It recently launched “Gaby,” a wellness line of cannabis-infused products, available in certain states in the U.S.

Gabriella’s Kitchen products are currently available in over 3,400 conventional and natural retailers across the United States and Canada.

Wine Business Institute in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University announced a new partnership with Vinexpo New York to develop cutting-edge digital content.

The first part of the project is a six-video series entitled Legalities and Realities of the U.S. Wine Market that was released to registered exhibitors over a two-month period leading up to Vinexpo New York. The videos feature industry experts from California, New York, Georgia, Texas, Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, representing segments from across the wine value chain.

In recent months, the institute also publicly released a separate 13-film "Business of Wine" series, featuring wine industry icons and pioneers (sbe.sonoma.edu/business-of-wine).


Redwood Trust Inc. (NYSE: RWT) of Mill Valley completed its acquisition of 5 Arches LLC, an originator of business-purpose real estate loans. 5 Arches and its team of approximately 95 employees will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Redwood.

5 Arches is a business-purpose real-estate lending platform that has generated over $1.8 billion of originations since 2012. Redwood Trust stated that the deal included $50 million, payable in a mix of cash and Redwood common stock and inclusive of the $10 million in cash paid in May 2018 to purchase a 20 percent minority interest in the company.

As part of its minority stake, Redwood procured an exclusive one-year option to purchase the remaining 80 percent of the 5 Arches platform. In January 2019, Redwood announced it had exercised this option and intended to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2019.

Redwood Trust was established in 1994, is internally managed, and structured as a real estate investment trust (REIT) for tax purposes.

Redwood Credit Union has moved its San Francisco branch just a few doors down, remaining in Fox Plaza at 1390 Market Street.

“The new location is larger to meet member demand and offers enhanced features with a more open floor plan for improved interaction between members and staff,” the Santa Rosa-based credit union's announcement stated.

Additional consulting spaces are available for discussing financial needs ranging from new accounts and credit cards to mortgage loans, wealth management, and insurance. Three ATMs in a secure, in-branch vestibule provide 24/7 availability, and a technology bar offers tablets so visitors can conduct digital transactions and inquiries at their own pace.

One Legal of Petaluma has announced speakers and session dates for its second annual virtual conference for legal support professionals. March 26-28, legal professionals from across the county will attend a free online conference offering educational and insightful presentations on industry-relevant topics.

Some of the most popular topics include, “What court clerks want you to know about eFiling,” “Strategies for eFiling in high volume,” and “Building your wellness toolkit for professional success,” the company stated.

Send Business Brief items to news@busjrnl.com.

Petaluma School of Ballet, said to be Sonoma County’s oldest dance studio, relocated to the east side of Petaluma, to 1372 N. McDowell Blvd., Suite H.

The new location includes five new studios that provide room to the various dance styles that the school offers, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, and modern. Classes at the 110 Howard Street studio ended March 16 and were set to resume March 25, at the new location.

Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, which includes holdings in the Napa and the Russian River valleys, announced it will continue to be the exclusive wine partner for the James Beard Foundation’s Impact and Women’s Leadership programs.

The James Beard Foundation’s Impact programs include the Leadership Awards, Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, Issue Summits, Full-Use Kitchen online curriculum and Smart Catch Program. It also includes the foundation’s Women’s Leadership programs, which are committed to advancing women in the culinary industry and correcting the gender imbalance that is pervasive in restaurants by cultivating, training, and supporting women throughout their professional careers.

Among the wineries owned or represented by Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners are MacRostie Winery and Vineyards in Russian River Valley and Markham Vineyards in Napa Valley.


Organizers say the Sonoma County Barrel Auction will return to MacMurray Estate Vineyards in Healdsburg on May 3 with a new collection of “Never Before, Never Again Wines” from Sonoma County’s leading vintners and growers. This year four Innovators and Icons have been named and will be honored for their contributions to Sonoma County and the wine community at a private reception leading up to the auction

They will be celebrated at a private reception to be held on May 2 at Seghesio Family Vineyards and at the Barrel Auction on May 3.

Here are the honorees this year:

Innovator: the Duncan family, Silver Oak Cellars, Alexander Valley

Under the direction of David R. Duncan, President and CEO, Tim Duncan, Chief Revenue Officer, and his daughter Haley Duncan, LEED AP, the Duncan family together have achieved LEED Platinum Sustainability Certification, the highest level of certification, at Silver Oak Cellars, Alexander Valley. It is the first winery in the world to earn this certification under the category of Building Design and Construction.

Innovator: Ron Rubin, Ron Rubin Winery

After experiencing a rapid heartbeat ventricular tachycardia and being saved by a defibrillator, Ron Rubin made it his personal mission to pay it forward by launching the “Trained for Saving Lives” program. In collaboration with the American Red Cross and ZOLL Medical Corporation, Ron Rubin has covered the cost of one ZOLL AED Plus (automated external defibrillator) unit for over 100 Sonoma County wineries.

Icon: Margo Van Staaveren, Chateau St. Jean

Van Staaveren celebrated her 38th harvest with Chateau St. Jean in 2018 and is the winery’s fourth winemaker. Upon joining the winery in 1980 as a lab tech, she worked her way up through various positions before becoming head winemaker in 2003.

Icon: Rod Berglund, Joseph Swan Vineyards

Berglund has been making wine for 40 years, 32 of those at Joseph Swan. His winemaking career began at La Crema Viñera (now La Crema) in 1979. When Joe Swan, his friend and mentor, asked him to help him finish the 1987 vintage, he joined him for what would become his final vintage. Joe became ill that winter and Rod gradually took over the day-to-day operations prior to Joe’s passing. Rod’s service and dedication to Sonoma County has spanned his entire career—from being one of the founding members of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers to acting as President of Wine Road to helping move forward Sonoma County conjunctive labeling.

The Sonoma County Barrel Auction is a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind wine crafted specifically for licensed members of the trade. This year’s Auction lots will be announced in March

Hennessy Funds announced that the Hennessy Japan Small Cap Fund (institutional class: HJSIX) has received the 2019 Lipper Fund Award for best-in-category performance for the three-year period ended Nov. 30 among 10 Japanese funds. Lipper Fund Awards honor funds and fund management firms that have excelled in delivering consistently strong risk-adjusted performance relative to their peers.

Through fundamental, bottom-up research, the Hennessy Japan Small Cap Fund seeks to uncover high-quality, small-cap Japanese companies that may be overlooked by other investors, the Novato-based company said. The Fund is sub-advised by Tokyo-based SPARX Asset Management Co. Ltd. Founded in 1989 as a small-cap specialist, SPARX has grown to become the largest independent asset manager in Japan and has compiled an extensive research database containing over 3,000 Japanese companies.

Correction: The Wine Business Institute six videos for VinExpo are separate from the "Business of Wine" 13-video series, previously released publicly.