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Elegant Image Skin & Laser Spa represents a true team effort
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Michelle Castellon, Kathleen Maynard and Tamara Bedford staff Elegant Image Skin and Laser Spa on East Center Street. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Registered nurse Tamara Bedford handles the medical procedures, Kathleen Maynard is the administrator and Michelle Castellon serves as the aesthetician at Elegant Image Skin and Laser Spa on East Center Street.  

“We’re the best team here,” Bedford said.  “We never over promise and under deliver.”

She added that consultations are an important part of their service so they completely understand the depth of their clients’ needs.

They are planning a Botox event on Monday, March 30, where they will smooth crows’ feet lines and the “elevens” creases between the eyes for $10 a unit.

In addition to the injectible Botox, Bedford also performs the laser hair removal and the (IPL) Intense Pulse Light.  As for titles, she is the marketing and medical director working under Dr. Philip Edington, M.D.

Kathleen Maynard has headed up the operation for the last year and a half.  She recalled a teacher in her youth – Maria Vasquez of Madison Elementary School whom she credited for setting her character in the business world.

“She pushed me to do my best in a fourth-grade spelling bee.  When I would go back to visit her classroom, she would bring it up,” she said.

She said it was probably that teacher who did so much to form who she is today.  Kathleen said she saw her several years ago and they recognized each other immediately – exchanging hugs. Bedford – who loves interior decorating – said she went to nursing school along with her mother who fell and became disabled just four months before they were to graduate.  “I want you to finish,” her mother told her,  and she did.  That was a time before the popularity of spas developed, but she said she knew they were up and coming.

She worked as a pre-op nurse for a medi-spa plastic surgeon in the Black Hawk area.  She also operated a medi-spa in Central California for three and a half years, she said.

The RN said she loves to cook, and is really into the presentation of her entrees.  And, of course,  there is her baking too, bringing goodies to work to share – giving others her recipes.

Other than being the administrator, Kathleen has a history of dabbling in photography on the side.  She has her 35 mm camera that she uses to shoot weddings and quincineras.  She actually worked at a photography studio – Expressly Portraits.

Aesthetician Michelle Castellon was the starting pitcher on the Tokay High School varsity softball team in her junior year.  Her dad operated a body shop by day and sponsored a girls’ softball team in his off hours – playing in the city league.

She supports the belief that exercise affects the skin.  Michelle is involved in kick-boxing, self-defense classes, cross-fit training, and time training with weights proving her point.

Looking back, she remembers her third-grade teacher as her inspiration.  “We still correspond with Christmas cards,” she said.  “She was just a very, ‘You can do anything you want to do,’ kind of person – I wanted to be a teacher because of her,” she added.

In her senior year she went to a vocational education school for two years learning to be a dental hygienist.  Castallon then enrolled in medical assistant classes and received her certificate.  In 1996 she worked in an ophthalmologist’s practice as office manager, where she was urged to take classes in skin care.  There were many patients who had the need for prescription skin care, she said.

She attended classes in skin care in Modesto for three months with 12-hour days, commuting from Stockton to Modesto.  She said all her Stockton patients followed her to the Manteca location.

“My specialty is a product called Obagi, a restorative skin care product, she explained.  “I do Obagi and chemical peels that remove the outer layers 7, 15 and 20 percent – depending on what the patient needs – dealing below the epidermis.”    

Michelle does skin checks, and has a prescription skin care program, that she says reduces fine lines and wrinkles.  The women say they are offering complimentary treatments to readers who bring  them this column at their spa.

There has been an “Omelet Rush” at Main Street Café since the new owner Jakkie Arellano  took over – adding daytime hours and more entertainment  on Friday nights.

They are promising folksy, rock alternative sounds starting at 7 p.m. – all depending on the band. Comedian Eric Mackenroth will be there on Friday, March 27, with singer Jaime Syrie, who will kick off the night before Eric takes the microphone.   Jakkie said it will be an amazing night of music and comedy.

Former owner of the Main Street Café, Kerry Smith, set the hometown tone at the eatery with her staff.  Nothing has changed.  Jakkie was there at the beginning and she is carrying on the friendly atmosphere you first notice walking through the front door.

John Mangelos says his Ripon Barnwood Restaurant continues to do well in the present economy,  because he and his staff have always been involved in the community.

Located on Highway 99 near the main northbound Ripon exit, trucking companies have remained faithful in supporting the business – it’s because of how they have been treated, Mangelos said.

“Our locals are our bread and butter,” he said.  Mangelos has worked with the Almond Board as well as the Walnut Board over the years.  He added that he always serves real butter in his restaurant,  because it is representative of the farm trade.  “I am aware of the people who keep me in business,” he stressed.

He has been a featured chef at the Olympic Games as well as catering many local domestic and corporate events.

“It’s not uncommon to see Ron Guntert from Guntert Steel having a relaxing lunch with us,” Mangelos said.

When people have gone to the Barnwood over the last 30 years they have been met by Mangelos and his mother Katherine, now 81, but still going strong.  And there is Mike Aaron who remembers his customers by their faces – knowing what they are wanting to drink,  as well as their usual menu choices.

“When you come to the Barnwood, you will always see a familiar face,” Mangelos said.  On many Wednesdays at noon a group of former high school buddies – now in their early 80s – can often be seen having lunch together, talking about their exciting yesterdays,  and discussing current problems of the day.

You will always get a salad and a bread basket – it’s all part of a family meal – and the salad is very healthy, Mangelos said.  I made the mistake of calling John back near lunch time to confirm other info I had – he was cutting fish – still making time to talk with me.

Many a night over the past years I have gone there for dinner when my wife was over the hill with the grandchildren.  They have the best ravioli dinner – and with a glass of red wine and salad – it can’t be beat.

Dean Hanson caught my eye hanging out on the corner of Yosemite Avenue and Commerce Drive last Saturday advertising for Scores’ haircuts located just south of In ‘N Out Burger.  I think I surprised him walking up the sidewalk with a reporter’s notebook and pen in hand.

Looking for a little extra income to boost his “day job” at Flying J in Lodi, Hanson said he located the haircut sign job through Craig’s List.  He said he was the first applicant to respond and was hired on the spot.

Hanson said he hopes to stay with Scores on his available days Friday through Sunday, working on  four-hour shifts.  Cody Mahler has operated Scores for the last two years.  The business offers more than haircuts, and will offer you a soda when you enter through their front door.  A hot-towel facial and a shampoo are also available.

Penney’s store manager Steve Hernandez told me this week his new store is drawing more customers than expected – a good thing in today’s market.  Staff members continue to be upbeat,   and their genuine smiles are common.  

Hernandez said his store is planning to be more involved in the community where it counts,  and they have already set up their priorities as to where they can do the most good – especially for women in need.

Obviously, I’m sold on the character of this new Manteca store, and its mission that includes being a good neighbor.   One staffer came up to me and said she knew me because I had taken her senior portraits years ago.  What a small world!