Jonathan E. Mennucci, O.D.
   
Ridge Eye Care
 
The son of an optometrist, Chico native Jon Mennucci did not initially intend on following in his father’s footsteps. Instead, at a young age he discovered his first love—music. Behind an electric bass, Jon grew up playing in rock ‘n roll bands at various venues throughout Chico. After high school, Jon continued to follow his passion down to San Francisco, where he performed at numerous concert halls and nightclubs.

After spending a couple years in the Bay Area, Jon decided to switch gears. He headed back up to Chico, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in construction management in 2009 from Chico State. Shortly after graduation, Jon accepted a job back down in the Bay Area working as a sales estimator for a specialty glazing contractor. Although he enjoyed his work in construction management, after nearly two years Jon found himself feeling trapped by the fast-paced lifestyle of the Bay Area.
     
He began to miss Chico, and worried that a career in construction would limit his options as to where he could live. He realized that he harbored within him a desire to improve people's lives in a greater way. This is when Jon began to consider optometry, the career that had allowed his father so much flexibility and gratitude.

So Jon began sneaking away from work at lunchtime, meeting with the local school of optometry to gather information about the program. He applied for a job as an optometric technician and, within a few weeks time, had completely changed career paths once again. After a year of prerequisite coursework, applying to optometry programs, and working as a technician, Jon was accepted into optometry school. In the fall of 2012, he enrolled at Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, CA.

Throughout his time in graduate school, Jon spent free time reaching out to the local eye care professionals here in Northern California. He met Dr. Isaac Barthelow and Dr. Anthony Rudick, owners of North Valley Eye Care in Chico and Ridge Eye Care in Paradise. He fell right into step with the doctors, and knew it would be a great fit if the opportunity arose to work with them in the future. In May of 2016, he completed optometry school and made his way back to Chico as Dr. Jon Mennucci. He began working at North Valley and Ridge Eye Care shortly thereafter.

Since his homecoming, Dr. Mennucci has focused on comprehensive optometry, as well as management of ocular disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and dry eye. He enjoys meeting new patients of all ages and origins. Dr. Mennucci also takes occasional trips to Bush, Alaska, where he provides eye care to underserved Eskimo communities. His next trip is later this month.

During his free time, Jon keeps up with his other passions of music and construction. Today he plays mostly acoustic guitar, and enjoys writing songs and singing. The rest of his time is spent woodworking in his garage. He’s quick to mention that having space to build again is one of the greatest advantages to living in Chico.

When asked to comment on his indirect and unusual path from music to construction to optometry, Jon says that he would characterize himself as a man of many interests. He assures us, however, that he is very content with where he has landed in his life, and is excited to be pursing his passion for eye care back in his hometown, Chico, California.