Biz Beat

August 9, 2014

Business Beat: Modesto flooring business reaches new level with move

A Step Above Flooring, appropriately enough, is moving on up. The longtime Modesto flooring company has moved into the H Street site formerly occupied by Majestic Furniture.

Biz Beat

Latest news from the Modesto-area business scene

A Step Above Flooring, appropriately enough, is moving on up. The longtime Modesto flooring company has moved into the H Street site formerly occupied by Majestic Furniture.

It’s the latest expansion for the 20-year-old business, said Katie Chacon. She and her brother, Fred Reulas Jr., work at the store with their dad, Fred Ruelas.

“It started out in my parents’ office and then expanded to a storage unit,” Chacon said. Then the family opened its first shop on 1120 Doker Drive, before moving to North Emerald Avenue.

Initially, the store specialized in hardwood and laminate flooring but eventually expanded into handling carpet, tile, vinyl and granite. That required another addition, at a Ninth Street site.

“When I first came into the business, I was 18 and it was just the laminate, the hardwood, the refinishing, that kind of stuff,” said Chacon, now 33. She returned after getting married and having children. “It was a whole new realm.”

Recently, Chacon said, “We decided to expand again. We needed to be consolidated.”

When the H Street location became available, it seemed like the perfect spot: centrally located, easily accessible from Highway 99.

And the company hasn’t stopped adding to its repertoire, now working on adding concrete polishing to its list of services.

Chacon said, like most businesses, A Step Above had its challenges during the recession.

“Oh my gosh, business is slow,” she said. “Strong faith kept us going.”

Faith, with a little help from her “hardheaded” dad’s perseverance, as well as diversifying the materials offered.

Working with family, which includes Chacon’s husband, aunt and uncle, and near-family – one employee has been with A Step Above for 19 years – can present some hurdles. But Chacon said they have learned over the years how to handle it.

“We don’t talk about work after work,” she said. “We only talk about the good stuff after work.”

A Step Above Flooring is at 600 H St. Call (209) 571-8583.

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

• Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits, 409 Paradise Road, has closed. My colleague Brian VanderBeek alerted me to this unfortunate news, which no doubt caused dismay for the many fans of Popeye’s. The number at the restaurant has been disconnected. Fortunately, there are two other locations in the area: one on Coffee Road in Modesto and one on Hatch Road in Ceres.
• Togo’s Eateries is expanding into Oakdale.

The sandwich restaurant recently announced it had signed agreements with franchisees to add five new sites in the Central Valley and East Bay. That will add to the 240 Togo’s now operated in California.

“These latest agreements underscore the strength of our business model and overall growth strategy as Togo’s continues to build its footprint throughout the West,” Tony Gioia, chairman and CEO of Togo’s Holdings LLC, said in a news release. “Since the opening of the first Togo’s restaurant in San Jose more than 40 years ago, we’ve built our reputation on serving big, fresh, meaty sandwiches made with the freshest ingredients to residents across the Golden State. We know that there is still great potential for additional growth throughout California.”

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