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For most of his life, Doug Trantow has made music.
As a sound engineer, he helped create some major hits for artists such as Hootie & The Blowfish, Matchbox Twenty, Jewel and Santana. And, yes, that amazingly catchy song that those who were alive in the late-1990s will remember, “MMMBop” by Hanson, was among his great works.
But the Grammy– and JUNO-nominated engineer, producer and mixer from Goleta gave up the bright lights of Los Angeles, and in an “MMMBop” moment of his own, came home. He moved back into the house he grew up in and this week opened a wine shop called Good Land Wine Shop at 4177 State St.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Trantow said. “There’s, in fact, no wine shops in Goleta. I thought, ‘That’s insane.’ Right over the hill there’s like 200 wineries. Then you go to the grocery store and you can only find five.”
He said many of the wines in the grocery stores are the “commercial, bigger organizations that make a whole bunch of wine. So, all the smaller wineries are not represented.”
He buys the wines directly from the wineries.
“That’s my idea of what I want the wine shop to be,” Trantow said. “It’s just to introduce local wines to locals. You can’t get these wines unless you drive over the hill to the winery and buy them.”
Trantow said it’s best to buy local wines.
“I love wines from Australia and France and Italy, but putting them on a boat and shipping them across the ocean, that’s just stupid,” Trantow said.
He sells wines from Zotovich Vineyards in Santa Rita Hills, Paul Lato in Santa Maria, Larner in Los Olivos, A Tribute to Grace in Los Alamos and dozens of other vineyards. The shop, a converted former window store, also offers a tasting room where he pours wine and beer and serves cheese.
“It’s just a place where you can come, and I can learn your palette, and recommend the right wines,” Trantow said. “We can talk about how wine tastes all day long, and wine people really love to do that, but until you taste something and say, ‘Oh, I hate this, or oh, I love this,’ we’re just talking.”
Trantow fell in love with music after taking a class at Santa Barbara City College called “Computers and Music.” It was an entry-level class to how to produce music.
He previously played the trumpet, but the class opened his eyes.
“I’ve always been a creative person,” Trantow said. “It opened my eyes to that whole other type of music.”
Now, he’s back in Goleta. The Dos Pueblos High School and Goleta Valley Junior High School graduate missed his hometown. His new life, in some ways, combines his love for wine and music.
“I find there’s a lot of similarities between music and wine,” Trantow said. “You can study about those subjects your whole life, but still not know everything.”
New Downtown Organization Employee
Downtown Santa Barbara has hired Daniel Ramirez as a director of strategic initiatives.
“Daniel has a significant depth of experience in our community that will lend well to the position,” said Robin Elander, executive director of the Downtown Organization. “We are so excited to have him on board. He will be focusing efforts on downtown economic development as well as new programming and initiatives to support downtown vitality and business engagement.”
Ramirez attended Santa Barbara City College and has a master’s degree in public administration and a second master’s degree in music business administration.
He recently worked for the emergency preparedness administrator for the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture and as the house manager for the Lobero Theatre Foundation, according to a news release. He also held positions as radio station producer with Rincon Broadcasting Corp. and radio station manager for KZAA at La Casa de la Raza.
New Shipping Company
Two Santa Barbara residents have opened an inXpress franchise.
The company, owned by Heidi Stilwell and daughter Mary Stilwell, provides domestic and international shipping solutions as third-party shipping experts. It also assists and books heavy air freight and ocean cargo.
The local franchise is located at 1002 East St. in Santa Barbara. It can be reached at 805.364.0412.
The global brand has more than 400 franchises operating in 14 countries and offers 20 years of insight and world-class technology, according to a news release.
The Utah-based company has invested millions of dollars in a high-performance platform called Webship.
Hotel Bed Taxes Up
Hotel bed taxes are off to good financial start in Santa Barbara.
The city collected $3.97 million in transient occupancy taxes for July, the first month of the fiscal year. The amount was about 20% higher than the same month a year ago.
According to a City of Santa Barbara press release, the increase was mostly because of higher average daily rates and “a strong seasonal demand for rooms.”
The city’s hotel bed tax budget for the year is $28.3 million.
Solvang is also experiencing good financial times. The city collected $5 million in transient occupancy taxes last year, the most in history of the city.
The IHOP at 4765 Calle Real in Santa Barbara has flipped its final hotcake.
But don’t despair; it’s opening again in September.
IHOP is moving to Goleta, 7127 Hollister Ave. in Goleta, near the DMV.
The restaurant announced it was moving locations more than a year ago. According to a banner posted outside its doors, the new restaurant will open in September. The sign at the new location is already up.
The popular Chick-fil-A restaurant has an application to open a restaurant at the 4765 Calle Real site.
— Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.