Jonnie McCormick and her husband, Ed, see the Sonoma Valley whizzing by on wheels: the view from , their familiy business.
A reproduction of a 1900’s San Francisco cable car, the trolley transports guests to Sonoma wineries, as they wine and nosh on food from the car's sup'd up kitchen. (Clearly, it's one of a kind.)
But the tourism maven wasn't always a Sonoma loca: Jonnie moved to Sonoma 22 years ago from Sacramento.
“Leaving there was difficult, as I loved it,” said McCormick. “Correction, I thought I loved it. I really didn’t know how much you could love where you live until I moved to Sonoma.”
SP: What brought you to Sonoma?
Jonnie: moved us here when I became Vice President-Manager of the local branch.
SP: And you later became Executive Director of the (SVVGA).
Jonnie: I left the banking industry after we lost our daughter in a drunk driving accident in 1995.
Jonnie: When I decided I was ready to reenter the work force, the SVVGA had an opening and I jumped at the opportunity.
SP: What did you take away from the SVVGA experience?
Jonnie: I learned first hand how much effort it takes on the part of the growers to produce their grapes and how much competition there is for wineries to sell it.
SP: Why a touring business?
Jonnie: My husband and I had been looking to start a business. Ed was a pilot and flew into Medford, Oregon a lot. On one of his trips he saw the trolley at the airport and discovered that it was for sale.
SP: And it happened to be a reproduction of a 1900’s San Francisco cable car?
Jonnie: Our trolley, although motorized, was in service in San Francisco for years, and then moved to Hawaii for a number of years.
SP: Wow. If only that trolley could talk.
Jonnie: It eventually ended up back in Medford, and the man who purchased it had a stainless steel kitchen installed in the center section.
SP: Interesting concept. What's the best thing about the trolley?
Jonnie: Such fun people come on board.
SP: Do you have a good “tourist” story you’d like to share?
Jonnie: One of our single gals came back with two bottles of sparkling wine and told me that another gentleman wine taster had purchased them for her. I said, “You go, girl!”
SP: Good for her! And your husband is hands-on in the business?
Jonnie: He went from being Captain of an airplane to Captain of the trolley.
SP: Perfect! Do you have any other ventures in the works?
Jonnie: I also own Auctions & Events with my business partner, Lynette Meehan. For the last six years we’ve produced auctions for local non-profit charities.
SP: You’re a busy woman.
Jonnie: And I own Sweeping Beauties, a residential and commercial cleaning company.
SP: Assuming you have any down time, what do you do?
Jonnie: I paint, walk our two dogs, bicycle, go to movies, read, and do home improvement projects.
SP: You’re my hero. Where are your favorite local haunts?
Jonnie: Diner, , and .
SP: Great short list.