In what seemed like perfect timing, as their programs were wrapping up, a representative — Richard Hill — from a newly built Auberge-owned resort in Calistoga, Solage, came into the Atlanta gym for a workout.
“Richard was in Atlanta for a meeting and we started talking,” Donavan said. “A few months later I moved to California and started working at Solage, and a few months after that Jacqi and I got married and moved here.”
The whirlwind few months followed by a change from big-city life to rural living was a bit of a shock for Jacqi when she arrived.
“I’m a big-city girl, and for a while I felt a bit disorientated,” she said. “It took a few years to find my footing, but now it would be hard for me to think about living anywhere else.”
Fast forward from 2007, and although the Almonds no longer work at Solage they do provide personal-fitness services to many other local resorts — the Meritage, Carneros Resort and Spa and Auberge du Soleil.
“We value [their] company’s expertise in all things fitness and health,” said George Goeggel, managing partner of Auberge du Soleil, “as well as their friendly, well-trained staff and their close ties to the Napa Valley community,”
Like many young entrepreneurs, the Almonds have their hands in more than just one single type of activity. They own and operate Donavan’s Wellness Solutions, which assists local resorts, spas and gyms, and they also have their own smartphone app, the Calistoga Fit app that provides unlimited access to more than 100 fitness, yoga, meditation and other classes online.
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