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Sonoma County Gazette

Many New Venues in Penngrove, from Soap Cauldron, to Winery, Markets and More

Sep 21, 2018
by Lyndi Brown


Soap Cauldron on Old Red

Emma Mann and her daughter Sabrina are the creative energy behind Soap CauldronA 10,000 sq. ft. maker space is taking shape under the leadership of property owner Cornerstone Properties. The former Old Adobe Lumber site at 5400 Old Redwood Hwy. tenants include Soap Cauldron and FEED Sonoma (Farmers Exchange of Earthly Delights). FEED consolidates local produce of small farmers to sell through diverse marketing channels. Retrograde Roasters roasts coffee beans here, too.

I talked with Emma Mann, owner of Soap Cauldron. She moved here from The Barlow to produce natural lines of artisan soaps and skincare, handcrafted in small batches with gourmet oils, butters, essential oils and botanicals. In business 20 years, Mann and her team make Three Sisters Apothecary soaps and shampoo bars for people and Soapy Tails products for dogs.

Emma Mann’s daughter Sabrina studies molecular biology at UC BerkeleyMann holds a M.A. in Marketing, and worked for EO Products and Avalon companies before launching her business closer to home. No water is used. “As soon as you include water you have to add synthetic preservatives,” said Mann. “And did you know household cleaners and dog products don’t legally have to reveal ingredients?” Mann’s passion was palpable over the phone!

Mann’s daughter Sabrina studies molecular biology at UC Berkeley, and creates formulas for Soap Cauldron. The duo produce and sell products on site (as well as online and at select retail outlets). A dog bath salt was in great demand during last year’s fire, as it will detox the toxins on an animal’s pads.

Displaced from her home near Coffey Park for more than a week, Sonoma Strong made a unifying bond in the maker and food communities. Mann gives soap seconds to Redwood Gospel Mission and Catholic Charities. “Never underestimate the value of a hot shower,” said Mann. “Sixty people offered us places to stay, and ZaZu owners gave me the keys to their restaurant in case I was hungry!”  The holidays are coming, folks, so put Soap Cauldron on your idea list.

Denman Ranch

I enjoyed a coffee at Penngrove Market with Ulysses Torassa, owner of the nearby Denman Ranch. Her 6.6 acres are across from Palace of Fruit on part of the original 2,000-acre dairy ranch. It was founded by Ezekiel Denman, reaching all the way to Two Rock in its day. Today, the property is a community of creative makers and several renters. 

Torassa didn’t intend to get into the wine business, but has planted 3 acres of grapes. She recently purchased Sonoma Aperitif from founder Laura Hagar Rush. Rena Wallace has come on board with deep experience in the wine business, and dynamic energy to develop the infused wine product. “Laura will always be our Mary See,” said Torassa. “Like the figurehead (See’s Candies) that we’ll always hold high as our founder.”

Sharing the tasting room are Powicana Farm Winery, offered four types of medal-winning Petite Sirah from its Redwood Valley ranch. Acre and Spade Cider owner Andrew Hoeberichts puts his tech savvy and people skills into marketing his new product. Pacific Crest Brewery will create its first brew this month.  The tasting room is open weekends from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Inside the Disability Community – Photo Exhibit by Penngrove Artist

Photographer, disability activist and Penngroovian Anthony Tusler Twenty one photographs by disability activist and Penngroovian Anthony Tusler will go on semi-permanent exhibit at Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL). An opening event is set for Friday, October 12 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Tusler has the perfect perch from his power wheelchair to see the day-to-day, ordinary human expressions of disability. “I learned to ignore societal prohibitions against staring at the disabled and strived to get past my own stereotypes of what disability looks like,” said Tusler. The images capture his friends, colleagues, and others coming together to celebrate, mourn, play, or just hang out. MCIL is in San Rafael at 710 4th St., opposite the San Rafael Transit Center.

Medicare Annual Choices and Changes open to Penngrove Population – Oct. 22

Medicare’s annual enrollment period ends December 7, 2018. Learn about changes to Advantage Plans, and Part D premiums and formularies that take effect January 2019. Learn about your options. Presenter Frank Nelson is Program Manager for Senior Advocacy Services’ Health Insurance and Advocacy Program (HICAP), and a state-certified HICAP counselor,providing free and unbiased counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries. Doors open at 10:15 am. The seminar runs 10:30 am to Noon at Petaluma Library, 100 Fairgrounds Dr., PTown. Co-sponsored by the Village Network, Senior Advocacy Services and Petaluma Library Please RSVP by October 15 at  707-776-6055 or 




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