Biz Buzz: Martin and Weyrich Winery assets sold for $2 million

Thomas Cook, a court-appointed receiver in possession of Paso Robles’ Martin and Weyrich Winery’s vats, barrels, bottles and accounts receivables, has told a San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge he’s sold the company’s inventory and other assets, collecting about $2 million.

This is less than half of the $4.5 million David and Mary Weyrich owe Heritage Oaks Bank, which asked the court to install the receiver to collect its debt.

Cook has also determined the $2 million is the extent of the company’s worth, excluding the real estate and buildings that are now in possession of another creditor.

He is now to be discharged and the receivership terminated, according to a June 29 ruling by Judge Marty Tangemann.

Cook, who is based in Pismo Beach, took charge of Martin and Weyrich’s books on behalf of Heritage Oaks Bank last year after the bank sued the couple for not paying back $4.5 million loaned to them in a revolving line of credit.

Martin and Weyrich Winery, which was established by Tom Martin and David Weyrich in 1981, produced about 90,000 cases of wine before it was shut down after foreclosure proceedings in February.

— Melanie Cleveland

Agency hopes new site boosts tourism

In hopes of increasing tourism to the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County’s Tourism Business Improvement District is rebranding its website as “Wine. Coast. Country.”

The agency also has plans to attract more tourist dollars by creating a Highway 1 scenic loop, building more tourist information kiosks and coordinating its efforts with the five other tourism promotion districts in the county, among other ideas.

Hotel occupancy rates have steadily dropped from record revenue in 2007, according to the Smith Travel Research’s statistics. From January to May 2007, revenue soared to nearly $75 million. During the same five months this year, revenue dropped to about $67 million. With that comes a drop in hotel bed taxes, which cities and the county rely on, as well as any other revenue generated by tourists, such as in stores and restaurants.

The new website,, will launch in September.

— Melanie Cleveland

Paso port wine company expanding

Steve Glossner is expanding his Paso Port Wine Company in the North County.

Last year, Glossner and his wife, Lola Glossner, launched Paso Port Wine Company and bought a 22- acre property with a house and barn on Booker Road near Templeton.

They have now applied for a minor-use permit to convert the 864-square-foot barn into a small winery, to construct a wine crush pad and to be able to process up to 5,000 cases of wine. The project doesn’t include tasting or special events, which would be an exception to the permit.

The Glossners share tasting-room facilities in an old tin building with Steinbeck Winery on Union Road in Paso Robles.

The company makes about 2,500 cases a year, and the wine is sold for $28 to $48 a bottle. Specialty wines include two ruby-styled port, a white port and a tawny port.

— Melanie Cleveland

Hair veteran opens a new SLO salon

Jan Horn, 58, of San Luis Obispo has opened a salon, 1817 Osos Street, named after its location in the historic railroad district in San Luis Obispo.

In the 1980s, Horn co-founded the salon Jamaica You in the same location.

Since then, Horn left to work at other salons, and Jamaica You changed locations in San Luis Obispo.

1817 Osos Street has four stylists and offers hair care and manicures.

— Julia Hickey

United Way awards $105K in grants

United Way of San Luis Obispo County recently awarded $105,000 in grants to help local health and human service programs.

Nearly 40 community volunteers reviewed 50 grant applications requesting a total of more than $244,000.

From the United Way’s annual Community Impact Fund, 20 grants of $5,000 each were given to education, income and health organizations.

United Way also presented a $5,000 Innovation Award to the Liberty Tattoo Removal program, provided by Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County.

The award, which recognizes a local nonprofit for inventive approaches and programs, was made possible this year by its founder, Don Maruska of Don Maruska & Company Inc., Chevron and IQMS.

Community Impact Fund Recipients include the following organizations: Aspiranet, Cal Poly Corporation, Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Luis Obispo County, Friends of Hapitok, The Link, Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo, Atascadero Loaves and Fishes, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, El Camino Homeless Organization, Family Care Network, North County Women’s Shelter, San Luis Obispo County AIDS Support Network, Community Counseling Center, Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County and the Senior Nutrition Program of San Luis Obispo County.

— Julia Hickey

Rabobank hires new VP in Grover Beach

Rabobank has hired Mark Chandler as a vice president and mortgage sales manager. Chandler will work out of the Grover Beach bank location. He is responsible for overseeing the bank’s mortgage loan officers throughout California.

Chandler previously served as a branch manager for Countrywide Home Loans for seven years and as a regional wholesale and retail loan origination manager for World Savings.

Chandler is a longtime resident of San Luis Obispo who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management information systems from Cal Poly. He is a licensed real estate broker and served on the San Luis Obispo Architectural Review Commission in 2003.

Rabobank has 93 branches in California, including 16 former Mid-State Bank branches in San Luis Obispo County.

— Julia Hickey

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Dharma Yoga Studio, Paso Robles’ first studio fully devoted to yoga, has opened at 585 12th St. Owner Wendy Streshenkoff, 33, of Paso Robles, and two other instructors offer a total of 22 classes a week, including beginner, restorative, hatha and power yoga.

The drop-in rate for classes is $10, with discounted packages available. Streshenkoff recently completed her yoga teacher training through YogaWorks.

— Julia Hickey