As I walked into The Roost Napa on Second Street in downtown Napa, I noticed the “We (heart) Napa” that became the symbol of Napa after the earthquake of 2014.

The effects from the recent wildfires, both personal and business, bring back memories of the shock and confusion brought on by the unexpected disastrous event.

Patricia Trimble, owner of The Roost Napa, is familiar with how it feels to have your life unexpectedly turned upside down.

The Roost Napa sustained considerable damage in the 2014 earthquake. Needing to put her business back together, Patricia turned to the Napa-Sonoma SBDC at Napa Valley College.

With assistance from an SBDC financial advisor, Patricia was able to secure the working capital needed to replenish her inventory and make repairs.

But it’s her appreciation for her customers and community that fed Patricia’s determination to keep her business open.

“I’m glad to be located downtown for the tourists, but really my store is for locals. The merchandise I buy for my store is for the locals that shop downtown,” said Patricia. “I have the best customers in the world.”

Patricia also developed a motto, “Love Militia.” It’s embroidered on caps in her store.

“In my store, I want to promote love. There’s too much negativity in the world right now.”

Small business owners are an integral part of the communities in which they live and work. Patricia makes it a priority to involve The Roost Napa in fundraising activities.

“My store is a place of community. I hold fundraisers every year. This years beneficiaries included hospice, Voices and Yountville Elementary. Two days following the outbreak of the wildfires, I opened my store and started collecting clothes and toiletry items from friends and the community,” said Patricia.

“I wanted to provide a place where those who lost everything could go to and feel the caring heart of the community.”

In addition to contributing to local nonprofits, Patricia builds personal relationships with her customers, knowing many of them by name.

“The community really came together after the earthquake as it has again with the recent wildfires. I want people to feel that heart when they walk into my business,” said Patricia.

“I’m on the floor greeting customers, getting to know them, not standing behind the counter.”

Patricia’s relationship with the other retail businesses on Second Street contributes to her sense of community.

“I believe Second Street has come alive since the earthquake,“ said Patricia. “There is nice synergy among the businesses here on the west-end of the shopping district.”

The Roost Napa is located at 1407 2nd St. in downtown Napa.

The Napa Valley College Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center provides one-on-one business assistance and low cost business training to small business in Napa and Sonoma counties. For an appointment call 707-256-7250 or visit napasonomasbdc.org.

Mary Cervantes is the business services director for Napa Valley College Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center. Reach her at 256-7253 or mcervantes@napavalley.edu

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