A work injury opened a new door for George Toscano.
Toscano moved to Manteca with his family when he was 13. He attended Golden West Elementary, Manteca High and Delta College before getting married, finding a solid job at a warehouse and starting a family of his own. Life seemed to be going fairly smoothly until George was injured on the job and suddenly found he was out of work with nothing to do. Having a wife and two young children to support at the time, what could have been a huge disaster ended up being a blessing in disguise, not only for George and his family but for the community.
“I was out of work and a buddy of mine called out of nowhere and said there was a store in Riverbank that had a meat department in the back to rent out. I had no butcher experience, I didn’t even know how to cut meat but I wasn’t doing anything and so I thought...I’ll learn,” Toscano said.
Toscanp made some calls, spoke with a few meat vendors and asked if they knew of a good butcher. Eventually he was introduced me to a butcher who showed him the ropes and thus began a new career.
Signing a lease to rent out the meat department at the store in Riverbank, Toscano began building his clientele. However six months into the lease agreement, the owner sold the store and the new owner had no interest in Toscano or his meat department. Once again, a potential disaster turned into a blessing.
“I was barely starting to get my clientele and the new owner kicked me out but it opened my eyes. I realized people have to eat and this is a good business.”
Not long after, Toscano found a small store to rent on Main St. in Manteca, near Northgate Avenue. Thanks to Toscano with his wife, parents and other family members and friends, including the gentleman who originally taught him how to cut meat, Carniceria Rosita Market was up and running.
“We started small and had the bare minimums but we started making money right away and so we rolled the money back into the business, buying more supplies and equipment.”
What started small has grown with great success. Fifteen years later Carniceria Rosita has moved to a much larger, prime location on Main Street and offers a full selection of grocery and paper products in addition to fine meat, bakery and catering departments. His friendly, bilingual staff has grown and now includes his eighteen year old daughter, the oldest of six children, who works part time for the market while attending Stanislaus State.
In this day and age it is typically social media that boosts a business but Toscano credits the growth of the market to word of mouth. Offering their catering services of items such as rice, beans, tamales, chicken, pork and fresh breads to various schools, churches, soccer leagues, community block parties, and the annual Gourmet Sampler held by the Manteca Historical Society to name a few, Carniceria Rosita has proven to be community minded as well as delicious and the word has spread.
As successful as the local market has become Toscano remains humble by keeping his priorities on providing for his loving family and growing a local market that is “a comfortable place for all people, races and nationalities in the community.”
The store at 1080 N. Main Street in Manteca is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The phone number is 209.239.6238.