Thursday, April 26, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 8

Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on May 16th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 11

Spotlight on: Casmalia Corner Market


What’s a Casmalia resident to do if they run out of sugar, beer, or any variety of canned goods? They’d make a trip to the convenience/grocery stores in Tanglewood, Orcutt, Guadalupe, or Santa Maria.

Not anymore.

Norman Watt got tired of constantly having to make the trip to town so he opened up the Casmalia Corner Market, a small convenience market located in the same building as the U.S. Post Office at 3401 Point Sal Road. It’s a small town and therefore the new store isn’t hard to find. Watt opened the market in early May.

Casmalia resident Norman Watt opened the Corner Store in early May 2017 so the town’s residents don’t have to drive far to restock common household goods.

Originally from Littleton, Colo., Watt has lived in Casmalia for about 20 years. Driving five to 10 minutes to Tanglewood isn’t that far of a drive for most people with a car, but it’s more about convenience.

“There’s nothing out here and it’s a far drive into town,” Watt told the Sun. “Tanglewood is the closest 7-Eleven kind of store.”

Watt said the store is your basic convenience store. He’ll sell items often found in household cabinets and cupboards like canned food and other common items.

It won’t have a deli or anything like that, though. Watt said he doesn’t have the proper permits to have one. To get one, Watt said he’d need to install some equipment, such as a three-sink dish-washing station. The store only has one sink.

Instead, he’ll offer pre-packaged food like sandwiches, which he’ll buy elsewhere and sell at his store.

“It’s going to be like a market that will have everything people might forget while they’re out and about,” Watt said, “or if they’re home and they need to get something.”

A notice for a permit to sell alcohol is posted on the window. Watt isn’t allowed to sell it yet, but it’ll surely be a huge plus for residents who want to enjoy a few cold ones at home. The Hitching Post steakhouse is the only place in Casmalia that sells alcohol. Watt plans to sell only wine and beer, much of it local.

The store’s open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., although Watt is playing with the hours to see if he wants to remain open later. Locals may have to pardon the inconvenience, but they might find the store closed in the middle of the day when Watt is buying more supplies. So far he says it’s been fairly “mellow” since he opened.

It’s a small town, but Watt is hoping that his store will lead to bigger things, like a farmers market. It probably won’t be as big as the one in Santa Maria, he said, since Casmalia is so small.

It’s Watt’s first time having such a business, but he’s getting lots of help. His sister, Robin Gorley, helps him run the store and keep up with accounting.

Watt brings years of experience to the local market. He worked at the FoodMaxx grocery store in the north end of Santa Maria for 27 years.

“I pretty much got an idea how to do this,” he said.


The Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) nonprofit announced on May 11 that Adolfo Garcia will be the new North County director of prevention and treatment in Santa Maria. Before this, Garcia has nearly 15 years of experience working with children and families in Santa Barbara County, serving most of those years with CALM. Garcia was born in Mexico and is bilingual. He earned his bachelor’s degree from La Sierra University and holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. He’s also an alumnus of CALM’s Emerging Leaders Program. CALM was formed in Santa Barbara County in 1970 and is dedicated to preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence. For more information on CALM, call 965-2376.

Staff Writer David Minsky wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, email, or mail.

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