Pretty soon, we will say goodbye to one of our neighbors here in downtown Modesto. But it’s for the best of reasons.
Don’s Mobile Glass will relocate its H Street location, as well as its Bunker Avenue site, into a shiny (literally) new location at the corner of Scenic Drive and Coffee Road.
The move is scheduled in early July, with a grand opening later this summer, said Christal Pace, marketing manager for Don’s. “We just outgrew the location,” Pace said.
Growing is something Don’s has been doing since Don Monaco opened shop in 1960 – the “Mobile” part of the business because he couldn’t afford a storefront, Pace said. Though that service is still available – Don’s runs its own fleet of trucks – several brick-and-mortar offices have been established over the years.
In 2002, Steve Mort and Bill Manuel took over from Monaco as president and vice president, respectively. Monaco still is very much a presence, though, Pace said.
“He has an office here,” she said from Don’s corporate office on Finch Road in Modesto. “He still comes in.”
The company, like most, was affected by the Great Recession. Don’s had opened sites in the Bay Area, but those closed as the company concentrated on the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
Don’s now operates in Modesto, Turlock, Manteca and Merced. The latter site also includes a tire service. But it’s glass that made Don’s name, literally. And it’s glass that will be on display in the new, 28,000-square-foot building.
“We’re planning a 6,000-square-foot showroom,” Pace said. Customers will be able to see a variety of products, ranging from windshields to bulletproof windows to furniture. Mort and Manuel recognized the need to reflect the history of the new site, where Scenic Nursery operated for 60 years before closing in 2011. So they made a significant investment in landscaping, Pace said. “We wanted to pay our respects to the former nursery site.”
To staff the new building, Don’s is hiring; the company is looking to add about 20 people to its staff of roughly 100, Pace said.
“We’ve created a significant training program,” she said. New auto technicians spend roughly six months learning the trade. And once they learn it, Pace said, they tend to stay. “All of our employees have been here at least 10 years,” said Pace, who is the newbie as she started work a year ago.
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Elsewhere around the Business Beat:
Two local banks are merging. Farmers & Merchants, based in Lodi, announced last week it has reached an agreement with Delta National Bancorp.
Farmers & Merchants will take over Manteca-based Delta, which operates in Modesto, Turlock, Riverbank and Manteca.
The merger is subject to regulatory approval.