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Cotati Heart & Soul - Deborah Taylor-French - December 2016


Cotati Heart & Soul - December 2016

by Deborah Taylor-French

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Operation E.L.F. stands for Everyone Loves Families 

This is an annual event I heard about from Rachealle at Crossing the Jordan. Operation ELF is seeking donations of cash gifts that will go directly to local families that have gone through recent financial losses and hardship and without the basic necessities. Merchants are welcome to donate too. Please call McKenzie at 707-343-6854. Donate & drop off to Crossing the Jordan 1201 Piner Rd. or at their 3403 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa stores.

See old friends & share yummy meals at the China Chef 

One of the best-kept secrets for healthy and tasty meals is the China Chef. Located on Old Redwood Highway across the corner across from Papa Murphy’s Pizza, the name is old but the owner, Lisa has taken the restaurant in new directions. Here you won’t find the canned baby corn, etc. commonly found in some Asian eateries. Originally from Hong Kong, Lisa serves fresh organic vegetables and offers dozens of options, including gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian meals, in addition to American Chinese favorites of chow mein, sweet and sour pork or chicken, Mongolian beef, spicy Szechuan dishes, pot stickers, dim sum and more. China Chef is becoming the popular lunch spot and has a growing number of to go fans as well.

We love to order our meals cooked in organic coconut oil. When we think we need to eat more vegetables or have a quick, quite working meal, China Chef is our favorite hangout in all of Cotati. Lisa will be open on all holidays this year. Hours open 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM Phone (707) 664-1088.

Tasty discoveries at Sweet Expectations 

Shop local then sip coffee at the new Sweet Expectations Custom Cakes & Bakery located at 8099 La Plaza. I went in on a Wednesday morning to say hello to the owner, Carolyn. She lives in Cotati, too. Carolyn has been making custom cakes for twenty-nine years. 

She serves local and organic Bella Rosa Coffee. Sweet Expectations makes some gluten free desserts. You can find the bakery on Facebook. I enjoyed the tasty decaf coffee and a éclair. Will be back for more because I also liked the cheery quiet café.  Call Carolyn for a wedding cake consultation at 707-285-2013. 

City of Cotati welcoming the future 

Cotati voters expressed confidence by reelecting all three incumbents to the city county. Susan Harvey, John Dell’Osso and Wendy Skillman will each serve another four-year term. Cotati’s entry gateway from the north at Highway 116 and Old Redwood Highway continues to make a huge improvement. Walking and driving safety are better with new lighting and colorful entry walls. Plus the City of Cotati has installed drinking fountains and water stations for bottle refills on both walk-able northern and southern corners of 116.

Winter Holiday: 2 new free events, Shop & Stroll plus Breakfast with Santa 

Holiday Cheer Pub Stroll – Thursday Night, 12/1, Downtown Cotati then Tree Lighting & Family Fun – Friday, 12/2, 5 pm to 8 pm in La Plaza Park.

Jasmine Gold of Stones Throw and Songbird Center has volunteered and organized a new event for this year a Downtown Shop & Stroll – Saturday, 12/3 from 11-4. Rain or shine shop, eat, and/or receive professional services throughout the City of Cotati. Deals for shoppers throughout the day like discounts on purchases, food tasting at restaurants, and mini sessions by Songbird Center, plus sales and discounts everywhere. Have your card stamped and be in the running for wonderful raffle gifts donated by our business community. Some vendors will feature arts and crafts for kids and families. Plus free horse drawn carriage rides Friday, December 2. 

On Saturday, December 10, the City of Cotati is offering its first-ever Breakfast with Santa! Please bring your family to enjoy a pancake breakfast, crafts with the elves in Santa’s Workshop, and a chance to visit Santa himself! Registration required. Please call 707-665-4222 for more information or to register.

Please email all event, news and suggestions to on or before the 5th of each month.