Union Democrat staff

Canceled classes

The following classes sponsored by the Tuolumne County Business Alliance and Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority have been canceled.

The Customer Service 1 class on Aug. 24; Customer Service 2 class on Aug. 31; Customer Relations 1 class on Sept. 14; and Customer Relations 2 class on Sept. 21.

For more information, contact Beth Hartline at 989-4058 or beth.hartline@tceda.net.

New business

Tuolumne Lavender, a small, family-owned and operated lavender garden on 17879 Yosemite Road just outside Tuolumne is now open.

It is owned by Pete and Connie Corcoran, of Tuolumne.

Tuolumne Lavender specializes in raw herb (non-culinary) and floral products including starter Grosso plants, Provence and Grosso essential oil, lavender linen water, dried flowers, dried flower buds in bulk, dried flower bud gift sachets and dried stem bundles for adding to wood fires and barbecues.

The business also operates at the Tuolumne Village Market on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to dusk.

For more information visit tuolumnelavender@frontiernet.net, or call 768-1604.

New owner

Dr. Abhijit Gune is now the owner of Sierra Orthodontics, 13975 Mono Way, Suite A, Sonora.

He received his bachelor's degree in dental surgery from the University of Mumbai, India, in 1997, his master's degree in dental surgery in 2001 and his diplomate of National Board of Orthodontics in 2003.

He moved to the U.S. and received his DDS and California Dental License in 2004.

He serves as the dental director for the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Dental Clinic in Sonora and is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Orthodontics at the Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry at Pacific University in San Francisco.

He specializes in Invisalign, Damon Braces, which are more comfortable than regular braces, and invisible braces, which are braces placed on the back of the teeth.

He is now accepting patients.

For more information, or to schedule a free consultation or appointment, call 532-2288.

Calaveras Visitors Bureau

Jeff Stai, owner of Twisted Oak Winery in Vallecito, was elected to the Calaveras Visitors Bureau Board of Directors in July.

Stai brings a wealth of knowledge about marketing and branding and has worked side-by-side with the Visitors Bureau for the past several years, according to a news release. He has specialized in helping the CVB expand its social media marketing strategies and been a speaker for its marketing workshops.

Wine award

The Groveland Hotel's Cellar Door Restaurant was awarded the 2011 Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence.

The restaurant is one of only 58 northern California restaurants and one of only 833 restaurants world-wide to receive this second-tier award.

To be recognized with a Wine Spector's Restaurant Award a restaurant's wine list must offer interesting selections that are appropriate to its cuisine. The list must also present complete and accurate wine information, as well as include vintages and appellations for all selections.

"This award is most exciting and rewarding since it is the culmination of 19 years of creating a collection of wines that not only complement the Chef's menus, but offers a wide variety of options of wines to provide many selections for our guest," said owner Peggy Mosley, in a press release.

The Cellar Door Restaurant at the Groveland Hotel, at 18767 Main St., features 635 fine wines that range in price from $18 to $450.

For more information, call 962-4000.

State Fair award

Tuolumne County was awarded a silver ribbon at the California State Fair Counties Exhibit Award Ceremony on July 14.

Exhibits are judged based on animation, technology, natural materials, products grown or produced in the region and components of the exhibit that relate specifically to this year's theme, which was "The Fun Just Gets Bigger."

The county's exhibit featured two benches, one with a big bear and the other with a giant fish. In the center was a water feature cascading over a large trout sculpture with an animated giant fisherman looking down from above. The exhibit also had QR Codes attached to tree trucks that fairgoers could scan with their iPhones and go directly to the YosemiteGoldCountry.org website.

The exhibit was made possible through a partnership between the County of Tuolumne, Black Oak Casino and the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau. Members from each organization were at the ceremony to accept the award from Patti Garamendi, the State Fair Counties Exhibits Assistant General Manager.

For more information or to volunteer to help with next years state fair exhibit and receive free passes and parking permits to the fair, contact the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau at 533-4420.

Copperopolis businesses

Two new businesses opened at Copperopolis Town Square off Highway 4 in Calaveras County.

Chloe & Zoey's Pet Boutique offer high-end dog and cat products including natural holistic food and treats as well as clothies, costumes and accessories.

Dog adoptions and vaccination clinics will be hosted throughout the year, and a self-serve dog wash will be available on-side.

Owner Danny Îo lives in Stockton and has worked in the pet supply industry for more than 18 years.

The second business, Griff's BBQ n'Grill, offers a casual dining experience with historical decorations featuring artifacts, mining carts and original lumber from the Gold Rush era.

The menu will include smoked ribs and chicken, steaks, pulled pork and tri-tip sandwiches, gourmet burgers and fresh salads.

Prime rib and lamb specials will also be offered.

Also Fancy Pans, a kitchen and gifts specialty shop in the square, has been under new ownership since February. The new owners are Jon and Leslie Watkins, of Copperopolis.