Saturday, May 26, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on October 10th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 31

Spotlight on: The Family Thrift Store

Renee Chavez, owner


Some of us enjoy sifting through clutter, always looking for a bargain buy. Treasures can be found—with persistence and luck—whether we intend to resell the find, use it, or cherish it.

Thrifty one:
Owner Renee Chavez stands proudly, her thrift store concealing all the treasures hiding in the background

During a time when frugality is a must, savvy shoppers might be looking for the best deals on eBay. But stepping foot into the Family Thrift Store will blow thrift-seekers away, considering the reasonable pricing, friendly atmosphere, organized products, and assortment of items offered. Ever see a drum set at a thrift store? This one recently had two. There’s also a changing room—more than the obligatory golf clubs and random clothes that attract few.

Browsers shouldn’t be surprised to be relaxed by music and greeted with a smile and a friendly, “May I help you, sir?” On a recent visit, this reporter asked how long the shop’s been open.

“We get that all the time,” said owner Renee Chavez. “A year and a half!”

The thrift store sits between Auto Zone and the Orchard Supply Hardware and Michaels shopping center on Betteravia Road. It’s easily missed if you blink at the wrong time. After one visit, it won’t just be on your radar, but could wind up on your “stop in before going home” list because of the assortment of items that change on a daily basis.

On top of running the shop, Chavez believes in giving back to the community.

“When someone walks away and you say, ‘be warm,’ offer them a coat if they do not have one—otherwise don’t say it,” she said.

The store works closely with the Good Samaritan Shelter to help anyone who might need something.

“Every month, the Good Samaritan Shelter interviews those in need, and they receive vouchers for items that they need through our store at no cost,” Chavez explained, noting that the shop is her family’s and fulltime employees’ primary income, and that donations feed the store—in addition to the community. Still, for a fulltime gig, it’s not drudgery.

“It’s an adventure, and it’s a lot of fun,” Chavez said.

Her husband built the clothing racks and the register bay.

“We are blessed that so much has been given to us,” Chavez said. “We are happy to give back to the community. In fact, this building, as soon as my husband secured it, had received so many donations in that we could not even let anyone in the store—there wasn’t any room! We held sales on Saturdays and slowly and incrementally were able to allow customers into the building.”

The Family Thrift store sits at 2000 South Broadway, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Always remember that the early bird catches the worm; with ever-changing inventory, you never know when your treasure will appear!

For more information, call the Family Thrift Store at 347-9200.


Guadalupe is gearing up for its third annual Salad Bowl Festival on Oct. 13, honoring the city’s contribution to agriculture.

The event will be held along Highway 1 near Guadalupe’s Veterans Memorial Plaza from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Highlights include a salad dressing competition, a farmer’s market, “cabbage bowling,” a “Grease & Greens” car show and cruise night on Oct. 12, live music, food and adult beverages, information booths, and more.

An awards ceremony honoring excellence in agriculture will precede the festival on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at the historic Muse Building. This year’s Legacy Award recipient is Nicholas Tompkins, chairman of the board for Apio, Inc. and owner of NKT Commercial in San Luis Obispo. Tickets to the gala event are $50.

For more festival information, visit

City chamber officials celebrated the arrival of Walmart’s newest Neighborhood Market in Santa Maria with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 3.

Located in the Crossroads shopping center at 2240 S. Bradley Road, the 32,000-square-foot store features a self-serve deli, bakery, pharmacy, and a full line of regular grocery items. According to Walmart, the store created nearly 70 full and part-time jobs.

The Walmart Neighborhood Market is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, visit

Intern Allan Achterberg wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Highlights were written and compiled by Staff Writer Jeremy Thomas. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.

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