In the spirit of Pride Month, Visit Napa Valley is proud to celebrate the diversity of our business community. In the first of our Pride series, meet Jamie Cherry and Jim Gunther, owners and innkeepers of Napa's historic The Inn on First. We sat down with these local business owners to find out what inspired them to live and work in Napa Valley, their favorite places to explore, and more. 

Visit Napa Valley: 
Can you tell us about what inspired you to live and work in Napa Valley?

Jim & Jamie: 
Our long term plan, initially, had been to retire here later in life.  The death of a brother in law at age 51 as well as a job layoff for one of us brought us to a place of reflection:  what is the quality of life we want for ourselves?  After much discussion we realized hospitality is what we do best and enjoy most.  So why not become innkeepers?  Over the course of our education and introduction to the life of innkeeping Napa Valley became the natural landing place for us, as it is well known for fine wine, great food and outstanding hospitality.  During the research phase we found that Napa County had voted in support of LGBTQ+ issues since the 1970s.  It made Napa Valley all the more attractive.

Visit Napa Valley: 
How does being a member of the LGBTQ+ community impact or inspire your work? 

Jim & Jamie:
We both lived through the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco and saw the ultimate sacrifice it demanded of the LGBTQ+ community as we struggled to get all Americans to care about what was happening in our community.  People were dying in large numbers and no one seemed to care.  We knew we could expand our influence to a larger community through hospitality.  This would allow people of all backgrounds to discover we are just people who want to love, support and build better lives.  In essence, that we are not the enemy.  This empowered us in our decision to bring a more profound experience of acceptance, generosity and assistance through hospitality as innkeepers.

Visit Napa Valley: 
What are some of your favorite things to do in Napa Valley?

Jim & Jamie: 
Personally, bike riding on the Vine Trail, hiking at Skyline Wilderness Park, walking our dogs at Fuller Park among the large variety of trees grown there.  Since the redevelopment of downtown Napa simply walking around downtown is a joy.  Of course we enjoy the food, oh the food!  And the wine!  :)  We have been faithful Bottlerockers and especially enjoy those events geared towards us locals, like the lighted Art Festival and Porchfest.

Visit Napa Valley
Anything else you'd like visitors to Napa Valley to know about The Inn on First, or Napa Valley in general? 

Jim & Jamie: 
We are fortunate and blessed to be part of a community that is welcoming to absolutely everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, orientation.  We have met some beautiful people here and are blessed to count them as friends.  Visitors to the valley need to know that the vast majority of hospitality professionals they'll engage with while here take hospitality seriously and we mean it when we say "It's our pleasure!"


Stay tuned to meet more of Napa Valley's diverse tourism business community! Looking to support Minority and LGBTQ+ owned businesses? Check out the lists below. 

Support Minority-Owned and LGBTQ+ Owned Napa Valley Businesses: 

Wineries 
Brown Estate
Okapi Wines 
LVE Wines
Darjean Jones Wines
Domaine Curry Wines
Charles Woodson Wines 
J. Moss Winery
Twentyfour Wines Tasting Room
Yao Family Wines
Mi Sueno Winery
Ceja Vineyards
Kieu Hoang Winery

Restaurants
The Q R&B 
Buster’s BBQ
Small World
La Chevre
Morimoto
Tarla
Hal Yamashita Napa
Tanya’s Taqueria
Clemente’s Takeout
Napa Valley Bistro
Protea 
Emmy Lou’s Diner
Tacos Chavez
Sweet Straw
Ben & Jerrys Downtown Napa

Lodging, Spas & Salons, and Personal Services
The Inn on First 
Chateau de Vie 
Blue Water Day Spa
The Parlour Salon
Little Blue Box Weddings 

Did we miss businesses on the above lists? Email janette@visitnapavalley.com to let us know!