Written by The Business Journal Staff
Alltech Automotive, an auto repair shop with an 18-year history in Clovis, will soon be moving from its location on Sunnyside Avenue to a new facility double the size being constructed near Peach and Herndon avenues.
Owner Nick Ferri said the new shop gives Alltech Automotive much needed space. Currently, the auto shop services 30 to 40 cars each day and has outgrown its 10,000 square-foot space. The new dealership-style facility will be 20,000 square-feet, allowing Alltech to serve its increasing customer base and hire two to three new mechanics. Alltech currently has 15 total employees, four of whom are ASE master technicians.
The new location is only 1.5 miles from the existing shop, and Ferri said that is intentional.
“This community has been really good to us,” Ferri said. “I have customers who have been coming here since day one.”
Ferri said he started as a gas jockey at a service station in Sanger when he was just 16, and chose to open his own shop in Clovis 18 years ago because he loved the community. When he first opened in a building adjacent to the current Sunnyside location, he said he only had 2,500 square feet to work with and his first parts bill was only $500. The business rapidly grew in both size and dollar figures, with average parts bills around $50,000 a month today. Ferri attributes this success to his passion for the work and support from the city.
“Cars are so important to people in their every day lives, and it’s almost like their world falls apart when their car is not running. You can ease their mind and repair it and fix problems that other people can’t fix,” Ferri said. “It is a gift to be able to do that and it is very rewarding to put a smile on people’s faces. It’s part of the Clovis way of life.”
A groundbreaking for the new site was held Oct. 13 and construction officially began this week. Ferri said the new Alltech Automotive facility should be completed by January.
Limon opens second location in northwest Fresno
Fresno’s premiere Peruvian restaurant Limon celebrated the grand opening of its second location in northwest Fresno on Sept. 30.
The new restaurant, located in the Sunset Square Shopping Center on the northwest corner Herndon and Marks avenues, is less than half the size of Limon’s 5,000 square-foot restaurant in the Fort Washington area, but the upscale atmosphere and cuisine are identical.
Chef Aldo Escribens, who owns and operates the two restaurants with his wife Ana, said the new restaurant was designed for intimate casual dining and is meant to greater serve Limon’s existing customer base.
“When first we opened in Fresno in 2008, we were in River Park and we stayed there for four years,” Escribens said. “At that time it was new for everyone; very few people knew about Peruvian cuisine and we introduced them to our culture and our food. Peruvian cuisine grew and we moved to Fort Washington for the different ambiance with the patio, private room for parties and the large bar. We’re still there four years later and we wanted to open a second location in this area because we realized a lot of our customers are from this side of town so they don’t get to the Fort Washington location often.”
Limon spokesperson Raymond O’Canto said the food consists of the same homemade dishes available at the Fort Washington location.
“There is a beautiful fusion of Columbian food with an Asian influence in Peruvian food,” O’Cantu said. “The traditional dish at Limon is one that Peruvians would have twice a week—a flank steak with vegetables—and it’s a healthy, really delicious meal. Also, I think one of the unheralded things about this restaurant is the amazing pastries and desserts, handmade every day from scratch.”
With such a great product, O’Canto said it is no surprise to him that Limon is expanding.
“This is the fourth location and each time they’ve moved it was for expansion so that says something,” he said.
The second Limon location is known for housing fine dining restaurants. Most recently, it was home to Lela’s, a Columbian restaurant, and prior to that is was the original Parma Restaurant location in Fresno.
Papa Murphy’s franchise set for Fresno expansion
Papa Murphy’s, the Take ‘N’ Bake pizza chain, recently announced plans for expansion in the Fresno area.
In the next 12-18 months, Papa Murphy’s will significantly increase its footprint in the Central Valley, building seven additional stores in the greater Fresno area. There are currently 18 Papa Murphy’s locations in the Fresno area.
Gary Payne, Papa Murphy’s vice president of franchise sales, said the additional stores will be a great fit for the Fresno market.
“We have a great presence in Fresno and see opportunity,” Payne said. “The pizza industry is a $40 billion industry, but we have a unique niche in the market. Rather than targeting young males like the largest four pizza chains in the industry, our target is moms and families who are looking to solve a dinnertime dilemma. They want a high quality product they can get conveniently, quickly and cook easily.”
Payne said two franchise stores are already underway and Papa Murphy’s is searching for other franchisees to set up shop throughout the Fresno area. Papa Murphy’s is looking to put a couple more sites in the Fresno metro area, as well as one in Clovis, Sanger, Kerman, Chowchilla, Lemoore, Hanford, Tulare, Lindsay and Porterville. All together, Payne said there are 15 areas being targeted.
As for franchisees, Payne said Papa Murphy’s is offering an incentive to those choosing to open two or more stores within a year. Those franchisees, he said, would save $5,000 off of the price it takes to become the owner of a franchise store, which is typically $25,000. Papa Murphy’s is also offering those franchisees a royalty abatement for the first year, meaning they would not have to pay the 5 percent in royalty fees to Papa Murphy’s during the first 12 months in operation.