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Andersons keeps on rolling after 34 years
Jon Anderson of Anderson’s Mower and Bike takes a model down off of the wall for a customer. The shop has been serving Manteca residents for more than 34 years. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
Things haven’t changed much inside of Anderson’s Mower and Bike in the 34 years they’ve been serving the community.

Parts for both bicycles and lawnmowers are on display in the glass case at the back of the store – where a swinging door separates the customers from the same family that has been staffing the counter for more three decades.

Bikes still hang from the rafters. Lawnmowers line the wall with their price tags hanging towards the concrete floor.

But considering that they’ve seen at least half-a-dozen different bike shops try to set up in town in their tenure only to fail – and stood strong against big box retailers like Orchard Supply Hardware and Home Depot that many thought would shutter small businesses like theirs – the model that Alvin “Andy” Anderson set up when he opened up his doors in 1975 didn’t need much tinkering.

While he passed away just a year ago, Anderson’s remains a family-owned and operated business – with brothers Jon and Chris handling all of the day-to-day operations from fixing flat tires to tinkering with the spark plug wires on a Honda motor.

“Getting to know the people you’re serving has really been the backbone,” Jon Anderson said of what has kept the doors open for so many years. “Taking care of people the right way is something that brings them back.”

And while the business is one of the sponsors of a local racing team that also boasts the support of the Lathrop-based Snap BMX components and the Icee Company, their focus remains on their customers and the personal service that they’ve made a staple.

“I remember selling people bikes when they were kids that their parents bought for them, and now they’re coming in and buying bikes for their kids and I can still remember what they were getting when they were that age,” Jon said – noting that the only other job he’s held was throwing a route for the Stockton Record. “Manteca is that kind of town where you can have those relationships with people.”

When Anderson’s first opened for business, there wasn’t a 120 Bypass for traffic from the Bay Area and other points to get around the city on their way to Yosemite for the weekend. Cars headed east clogged the roadway as far as the eye could see on Friday afternoons, and the headlights wouldn’t stop coming on Sunday as they all returned.

The neighboring Pete’s Market was at the time family-owned as well, and there wasn’t much in the way of commerce to the west of their location save for other small businesses and Cabral Motors.

Despite the fact that the scenery around Anderson’s hasn’t changed much – with Foster’s Freeze changing their original sign just a few years ago and the original Pete’s Market aerial display still standing tall – the outlying landscape has definitely been altered in the time that it has taken the Anderson brothers to grow up behind the counter.

And now whether it’s Jon talking to a customer about the repairs to a lawnmower or Chris showing off one of the Nirve beach cruisers that they started stocking several years back, Anderson’s continues to roll on.

“Basically we’re sticking with what we know,” Jon said. “We don’t make a million here, but we make enough to keep the doors open, and that’s all you’re really trying to do.”

Anderson’s Mower and Bike is located at 907 W. Yosemite Ave. and is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’re open until 8 p.m. on Thursday nights, and closed on Sunday. For more information, call 239-1438.