COVID Local grassroots legal plans

Beth Costa on Jan 12, 2021

To all Wine Road member wineries and lodgings,

This is information we are forwarding to all of our members, so you are aware of this grass roots effort, should you want to become involved.

At this point in time, Wine Road is not able to financially contribute to this cause, but individuals may be interested.

This came to us via Will Seppi, owner of Costeaux French Bakery (see below).

Happy New Year! I am sharing with you a grass roots effort that is gaining momentum from various entities in the hospitality sector (wineries, lodgings, eateries). Below is what I sent to our client list today. As of this afternoon over $40,000 has been raised to engage legal counsel to advocate on behalf of impacted businesses for reopening. More funds are needed and welcomed. Perhaps members of your organizations might be willing or interested in joining the effort.


William K. Seppi
Costeaux French Bakery | | 707.433.1913 | D: 707.708.8002 | C:707.480.3860
BEST BAKERY – Press Democrat Readers’ Choice | BEST PLACES TO WORK – North Bay

Dear Valued Costeaux Partner,

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the hospitality industry has invested significantly to ensure that employee and guest safety was elevated to standards of historic achievement only to continue to adjust and heighten standards, and then to significantly curtail operations or be forced to close. Seemingly, the future of our industry is in limbo. While none of us wants to prolong the current crisis, it is something that we are going to have to learn to live with for some time to come. With that mindset, our business success is dependent upon yours. We need to have the option to continue to operate.

I invite you to join us in a coalition of entities in the hospitality sector (restaurants, lodgings, wineries, breweries, etc.) as we pursue advocating via legal channels to have our hospitality entities reopened. As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers. Costeaux has committed $1,000 to support this effort. Contributions of any amount are significant. Please contribute today:

I believe in this industry and the extremely high standards that we hold ourselves and our employees. Those standards ensure safety is always top of mind and practice. There is no industry better poised to take care of people than the one known as hospitality.

We are looking to press forward with this matter in a timely fashion. I am at your service to discuss. Please read below for more details or contact Cynthia Ariosta (Pizzeria Tra Vigne, St. Helena, CA, 415-936-9796) or Carl Dene (Brannan’s Cottage Inn & Sam’s General Store, Calistoga, CA, 310-702-9611).

Let’s press forward!

William K. Seppi
Costeaux French Bakery | C:707.480.3860

Key Points of the Coalition
We firmly believe that our outdoor activities are not the cause for the spread of COVID-19 nor the current surge in the Bay Area. As other cities and counties across the state are starting to see legal action, there is no supporting data or science presented for the arbitrary discrimination of our businesses for these shutdowns. In fact, we believe more data will come out as counties like Los Angeles enter their fourth week of lock down, leaving family and friends no choice but to gather in their homes not only contributing to the tremendous spike but causing it to grow.

Restaurants and Wineries have been at the forefront in keeping our employees and patrons safe. We have collectively spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last ten months adapting to the roller coaster of Covid-related mandates and day-to-day changes from the State for our businesses to remain open safely. In addition, but not related, we have seen economic devastation to our county resulting from the wildfires.

While local officials are extremely compassionate to our plight and have been working very hard behind the scenes fighting to keep us safely open for as long possible there is not much else they can do without more support in this effort from all if us.

This shut down is now going well beyond the January 8th date, causing more economic hardship on our employees, plummeting our businesses deeper into debt and resulting in additional permanent closures. It is time to take matters into our own hands to try to get us open safely and as quickly as possible. In order to do this, we need to have a larger consorted effort of restaurants, wineries and supporting businesses.


Please direct questions and comments to Will Seppi.

Posted by Beth Costa