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Getting to know fellow merchants
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Sam Guedoir knows Downtown Manteca. 

He knows where the businesses are. He knows where the streets are. And if you asked him, he could probably tell you where the cracks are in the sidewalks and how many cars make each light at the intersection of Main and Yosemite at 1 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. 

It is the perks of owning the building on the corner of the city’s commercial crossroads at Main and Yosemite. 

But he didn’t know some of the embroidery services that Double Stitch Embroidery offers just up the street, so when he was part of a Manteca Chamber of Commerce Downtown Merchants walking tour Thursday night, he was pleasantly surprised. 

“I think that the idea of doing something like this – getting all of the merchants together and having them meet one another and visit the businesses – is a great idea because I’ve passed by a few businesses tonight and I’d never have guessed at some of the things that they had,” he said. “I know now that I can get T-shirts for my employees in here and instead of going somewhere out of town, I can go right across the street. 

“It’s a great way to promote business amongst the businesses. And it’s always good when you can communicate with one another.”

Tipton’s Stationary and Gifts owner Brenda Franklin learned about the event through the Manteca Chamber of Commerce and helped play a role in organizing the evening. She handed out nametags and moved the group along to the participating merchants on Maple Avenue. Whether it was the party supply store or the salon, building those bonds amongst the businesses, she said, is always important. 

“It’s beneficial when the merchants all get to know each other and make those connections because sometimes we get caught up in the business part and we don’t get the chance to go out and communicate,” she said. “I heard about this and I thought that it was a great idea and I wanted to get involved. We have 24 merchants participating tonight and if it goes well we’ll probably do it again on another downtown street.”

And the learning more about what merchants provide aspect rang true for Fantastic Collectibles owner Richard Simas as well. 

Simas, who said that he knew that a party supply store existed on Maple Avenue, never would have guessed that it was a place where you could rent bounce houses or elaborate setups for the types of parties that he frequents for his grandkids.

“I knew that my grandkids got the jumping deal but I had no idea that there was a place just around the corner that provided it,” he said. “This is a great chance to get to know a little bit more about the businesses that we have right around here. Some of the people didn’t know what we have in here, and I think that being able to show this will help us in the future.” 


To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.