Friday, February 22, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 51

Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on October 21st, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 33

Spotlight on: One Way Boardshop

Dan and Dave Pankratz, owners


Going up against the big box stores is hard to do if you run a small business in any town with a Walmart or a Target, and Santa Maria happens to have both. 

“Our biggest hurdle is we aren’t funded by Wall Street,” Dan Pankratz of One Way Board Shop said with matter-of-factness and perhaps a touch of pride. “The people who come in here are our stake holders.”

One Way veteran Ben Cabreana, who’s been on the shop’s skate team since its inception 12 years ago, busts out a nollie heelflip.

Dan and his brother opened up their shop 14 years ago. Over the years, it’s moved, expanded, and contracted. Currently, they are applying for one of Chase’s 20 Mission Main Street Grants.

The grants program is giving out $3 million to help 20 small businesses get ahead in their communities. The $150,000 grants are meant to help boost small businesses that are actively engaging their local community.

Should the brothers get a grant, Pankratz said they would be able to build more ramps in the shop-owned skate park at the mall, hire more skate instructors for the classes One Way offers, expand the store-sponsored anti-bullying program, and bring in more merchandise.

One Way’s manager, Jacob Meza, is one who’s worked for corporate stores, and he said the shop is about way more than just selling skate equipment.

“They are a local shop, and me being bred into the corporate store thing … I was over it,” Meza said. “I felt that I had to keep putting things into people’s faces that they didn’t [want]. … [Here], I’m there to help out a customer to find what they need.”

Over the years, One Way has developed a presence within a section of the community that is often alienated due to reputation. The brothers have harnessed that demographic to give back.

Local skaters who’ve grown up in the community and are part of One Way’s skate team do anti-bullying demonstrations at local elementary schools as well as raise money to buy skate equipment for kids. One Way has also partnered with the Police Activity League and Officer Mike McGehee to enable the league to create an at-risk youth skate team.

McGehee grew up skating and has a son who skates. He is enthusiastic about what One Way does for a section of the community he said is associated a with a negative stigma. He praises

One Way for its involvement and enabling at-risk kids to skate.

“You may spend some money in their shop,” McGehee said, “but the money they raise goes directly to the kids. They actually care about skaters.”

Thanks to One Way, McGehee’s skate team was able to purchase equipment at a reduced cost.

The grant was something that kind of fell into their laps at the last minute, according to Pankratz. A friend mentioned it to him a few days before the submission cut-off date, and One Way was able to get its application in at the last minute.

On the application, they had to answer five essay questions, such as: “What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?” and “Describe both your greatest achievements and biggest challenges,” in the space of 1,000 characters, which is about seven tweets.

“You had to be relatively specific, but you were not given room to be,” Pankratz said. But, he was able to sum up their drive for the grant very succinctly.

“What we do for our community has weight and measure,” Pankratz said. “If this business doesn’t survive, then our community outreach doesn’t survive.”

One Way made it through the community voting section of the grant process with time to spare, and accumulated 256 votes as of Oct. 13. Now, the application will be reviewed by a variety of executives from financial, entertainment, and commercial businesses like Google and Chase. The results will be released in January of 2015.


Contributor Michael McCone wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, email, or mail.

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