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BizHawk: Lafond Winery Taps Sisters to Manage New Tasting Room in Funk Zone

Captured Spirit Photography opens downtown, Arlington Tavern adds front dining patio and Patricia Noel Studio reopens in Montecito

Sisters Liz Morello, left, and Mirella Ramirez will manage the new Lafond Winery tasting room on Yanonali Street, beside its sister winery, Santa Barbara Winery. The Santa Barbara natives say the tasting room, Lafond’s second, is set to open May 1.
Sisters Liz Morello, left, and Mirella Ramirez will manage the new Lafond Winery tasting room on Yanonali Street, beside its sister winery, Santa Barbara Winery. The Santa Barbara natives say the tasting room, Lafond’s second, is set to open May 1.  (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

[BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing [email protected]]

Lafond Winery will open its first tasting room in Santa Barbara next month, tapping two sisters and Santa Barbara natives to guide the latest venture.

The Buellton-based winery and vineyard, owned by local serial purveyor Pierre Lafond, aims to open the new wine-tasting room at 111 E. Yanonali St. on May 1.

Sisters Mirella Ramirez and Liz Morello will manage the new operation, lauded as a “vessel” to send more visitors up to the Santa Ynez Valley, where the grapes for chardonnay, syrah and pino noir are produced in the Santa Rita Hills.

The Funk Zone location, a former computer repair shop, is adjacent to Lafond’s sister winery and primary label, Santa Barbara Winery, which means guests will get a great view of wine production at the bottling warehouse.

Ramirez, who will manage both the Santa Barbara and Buellton rooms, said the new location will boast work from local artists.

“We’re both really excited,” said Morello, assistant manager of the Funk Zone spot.

Captured Spirit Photography Opens

Photographer and business owner Stacey Byers has transformed a commercial space into a boutique portrait studio and exhibition gallery, recently opening Captured Spirit Photography at 1213 State St., Suite F.

Byers moved to Santa Barbara with her husband last year, and then began searching for a suitable space for a photography business.

She offers custom-tailored portrait sessions, most of which will help people commemorate engagements, anniversaries, pregnancy, graduations or other personal milestones and moments with professional portraits.

“Many photographers in Santa Barbara are shooting weddings or events, but the majority of my work takes place in the studio,” Byers said. “I needed a space that provides clients with privacy during photo shoots, but I also wanted a space that could double as an exhibition gallery. It's been a goal to offer emerging photographers a place to show their work, to host public events and to become a vibrant part of the Santa Barbara community.”

Arlington Tavern Adds Patio

Arlington Tavern in downtown Santa Barbara has opened a new front patio for dining.

The restaurant will also celebrate its two-year anniversary with a special event from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27, featuring sips, bites and live entertainment.

Co-owners and longtime friends Chef Ron True and Diego Barbieri will be on hand to welcome loyal patrons and guests to the event and restaurant, located at 21 W. Victoria St.

Patricia Noel Studio Opens in Montecito

Longtime local Patricia Noel has reopened the hair studio bearing her name in Montecito.

Patricia Noel Studio opened at 1253 Coast Village Road, Suite 105, in March, and will host a grand opening from 4 to 7 p.m. May 9.

The former studio located at 2173 Ortega Hill Road in Summerland closed after seven years in January after someone bought the building, Noel said.

Noel’s new digs are larger, cozy and “very luxury,” according to the owner, who has recruited four local and experienced stylists to work on her new team.

StudySoup Named Finalist in Awards Program

StudySoup, an educational platform founded by UCSB alumnus Sieva Kozinsky, has been announced as a finalist for the Cool Tech category in the EdTech Digest Awards Program recognizing it as a new technology solution for education., a Santa Barbara-based startup offering a peer to peer education marketplace for college students to buy and sell study guides and learning materials, in two years has grown to reach 8,000 students at 15 campuses across the country, including UCLA, UCSB and more.

The EdTech Digest Awards Program recognizes outstanding solutions for and the best and brightest minds in education technology — a sector revolutionizing the education landscape.

Xform Computing Inc Earns Investment

Xform Computing Inc., pioneer of the AlwaysOnPC Cloud-streaming mobile Apps and services, this week announced that the company has received an investment from Parallels Inc., a global leader in hosting and cloud services enablement and cross platform solutions.

Xform and Parallels are collaborating across their technical, marketing and product teams to accelerate Xform's AlwaysOnPC platform to address new applications and expand into more global markets and channels. The collaboration also includes an investment by Parallels that will boost the next phase of Xform's growth.

The Xform services and apps use patented technology to host and stream an entire desktop experience, or individual applications to mobile and HDTV devices. Examples include Office suite, email, graphics, video, image editing, as well as Chrome or Firefox browsers with Flash, Java and HTML5, all securely accessible from tablets, smartphones and soon HDTVs.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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