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Finds service, prices better in Manteca
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Who hasn’t heard “shop local and support local business?” But we have been taught that shopping the internet, big box stores or in larger cities is the best way to save money. So shopping local and supporting our small business seems a little like “pay more for the good of the community.” Right? WRONG!!

I had an opportunity this winter to test this important two-sided debate. I purchased two old buildings on Main Street across from the F.E.S.M. Hall. The project began with Manteca’s Ben Cantu of BC Planning successfully handling the design and permitting from beginning to end. In January, we started the remodel and it was finished in April 2009. The General Contractor, Steve Martinez of CAS Construction in Manteca was fabulous. He and his sub-contractors met or exceeded every commitment they made. (Especially Kevin Thompson, KLT Electrical).  Fortunately, Steve allowed me to be involved in the purchase of the appliances, asphalt, awnings, outdoor barn lighting, signage, and restroom supplies.

Advertising has trained me that I could find the most affordable appliances at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but it was Manteca’s Center Appliances that won on price and service. I thought of Stockton or Modesto for asphalt, but it was Manteca’s Central Valley Sealing & Asphalt that also won hands-over-fist on both price and service. Where do you buy high quality awnings? Sacramento, Pleasanton? No, it was Tim Kuntz at Awnings Pros Canvas Work in Stockton. I searched for days on the internet for the outdoor Barn Lighting and was ready to place the order with a company in Florida when on a whim, I stopped to see Chris Cefalu at Manteca Lighting who easily won on both price and especially service. Our signs were beautifully installed by Manteca’s John Long at Economy Signs. The alarm, cameras, and audio/video systems were pre-wired and installed by Ken Fogg at California Built-In Systems in Manteca. Where do you buy commercial soap dispensers, tri-fold towel holder and toilet seat covers? After searching all over, it occurred to me to call Manteca Janitorial. Within two hours, the owners stopped by the building and delivered more affordable and attractive products than anything I had already found.

Had I had a positive experience in one or two of these stores, it would not have moved me to write to the editor. But literally every item and service I purchased was exceptional. Every owner visited my building, took their own measurements and stood behind their promises. This project could have been a nightmare but it turned out to be very positive, thanks to the local companies who helped and delivered.

This experience was important for me to share because I am a local, small business owner. My team educates the community daily on the benefits of shopping locally for insurance. So if I was able to learn important lessons from this experience, perhaps others could benefit from being reminded to give the local businesses a chance – the community needs your support now more than ever.  
Crystal Downs
State Farm Agent
259 N Main St.
May 1, 2009