Santa Rosa's Community Market (1899 Mendocino Ave.) quietly opened a second location a few weeks ago, in a highly visible part of The Barlow, at the corner of Highway 12 and Morris St.
Now that the new store has gotten its sea legs, it's hosting a grand opening fete on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There will be nonstop entertainment throughout the day, with appearances by the Hubbub Club, Free Peoples, Lazyman, Mr. December, The Chelsea Set, JD Limelight, Kyle Martin Band, The Orchid Killers and the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. There will be qigong, belly dancing, art exhibits and fun activities for kids.
Community organizations will join in with education forums and demonstrations.
There will, of course, be food, beverage and product samples and an opportunity to hang out in the beer and wine garden.
The Sebastopol store is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Santa Rosa store is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information about the not-for-profit market, visit <a href="http://srcommunitymarket.com" target="_blank">srcommunitymarket.com</a>.
<strong>From California to Italy and back again:</strong> A few months again, two young women, Michelle Lee Freeborn and Danielle Caponi Bolla, opened a sweet little shop, Vita Casalinga ("life of the homemaker"), off the square in Healdsburg, at 135 Matheson St. The store specializes in Italian housewares, including hand-pounded copper pots, outdoor bruschetta grills, handmade kitchen linens, ceramics, cookware, cooking implements and so much more, including a line of body products made with organic olive oil.
The story of how the store came about is as sweet as the store itself.
Freeborn, who was born in Santa Rosa, and Bolla, who was born in San Francisco, both went to Italy to study for a semester. Neither returned when the semester concluded. Bolla stayed 10 years, returning when her husband, Federico Bolla, an Italian computer programmer, accepted a job with Disney and George Lucas. Freeborn married architect Paolo Caggiano and raised a family near Florence.
Two years ago, the women met for the first time, introduced by Paul Ferrari of A. G. Ferrari Foods, which specializes in premium Italian products from small farmers, ranchers and artisans.
It appears to have been a match made in heaven and the offspring is this little shop.
Freeborn and Caggiano remain in Italy and help with procurement of merchandise. The Bollas live in Petaluma and Federico now manages the e-commerce part of the business. He's often in the store, chatting with his wife in Italian, sharing family recipes and inviting customers to dinner.
The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit <a href="http://vitacasalinga.com" target="_blank">vitacasalinga.com</a>.
<strong>Music for your weekend:</strong> It's a long weekend -#8212; Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day -#8212; and there is plenty to do, no matter your inclinations. Whatever you do, keep in mind that Winter Wineland takes place on Saturday and Sunday and could influence traffic, especially in the northern part of the county.
Big-name performers -#8212; Roy Rogers and David Lindley, for example -#8212; are playing at larger venues but smaller clubs are offering good music, too, often without a cover charge.