La Perla Tapatia began in 1980 as a 600-square-foot store in Patterson. Since then, the Mexican grocery, bakery and deli has added eight more stores spread throughout six Northern San Joaquin Valley cities.
The original store remained open, however, until Saturday, when it closed its doors on Las Palmas Avenue after losing its lease.
Lilia Bacon, director of administration for La Perla Tapatia, said the closure was sad because of the faithfulness of the store's clientele.
"The manager said there were people there who had been customers since it opened," Bacon said of the store. "They've been going there for more than 20 years."
Bacon said La Perla Tapatia will work to put the store's four employees at other stores.
La Perla Tapatia, one of the largest Latino-owned businesses in the valley, is owned by the Villa family and employs about 270 people.
In addition to another store in Patterson, La Perla Tapatia has locations in Modesto, Ceres, Hughson, Riverbank and Turlock. In a press release, the company noted that it owns the buildings for its other stores, but not the original one in Patterson.
"It's something beyond our control," said Gabriel Villa, the chain's general manager and son of La Perla's founders. "We would have loved to have continued serving our loyal customers at our original store."
Elsewhere on the Business Beat:
What is it: Runners' Feet at 405 E. Main St. in Turlock. Phone, 669-1212. Web site, http://runnersfeet.com.
What it does: Runners' Feet specializes in running and walking. It evaluates the biomechanics of each customer's feet and assists with shoes that are best for him or her. Items offered in the store include clothing (shirts, shorts, tights, jackets, socks) and accessories (hats, gloves, bags, insoles). It carries major brands such as Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, New Balance, Saucony, and Brooks.
Who runs it: Shaun and Keith Larsen, a husband-wife team, are the owners. The Larsens have owned a Runners' Feet store in Burlingame for 19 years and opened the Turlock location two weeks ago. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
What makes it special: Runners' Feet takes a personal interest in all of its customers by watching them run or walk and assisting them on what the best shoe type is for their feet.
What is it: The Pet Shoppe at 2253 Geer Road in Turlock. It's in the Geer Garden shopping center. Phone, 632-1683. A Web site, http://petshoppeonline.com, is in the works.
What it does: The Pet Shoppe offers a variety of services and animal products. It sells locally bred and raised puppies and kittens, as well as birds, reptiles and small animals (hamsters, rats, mice and guinea pigs). The products sold are food, treats, toys, brushes and more for dogs, cats, reptiles and small animals. The store also houses Shampooches Spa, which offers grooming, spa and dental services for cats and dogs, and The Pet Vet, a walk-in clinic for a variety of dog and cat services such as declawing, spaying, neutering and vaccinations.
Who runs it: Niles and Sandra Gregory, a husband-wife team, are the owners. Sandra has worked in the pet industry for 15 years. The Pet Shoppe has been open since 2001 and moved to its new location in September 2006. Hours for The Pet Shoppe are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and for the Pet Vet are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays only. Shampooches Spa is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and can be reached at 669-9633.
What makes it special: The Pet Shoppe focuses on animal care to provide quality services to customers and their pets.
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