published on March 24, 2016 - 7:54 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

National tire and auto parts retail chain Les Schwab Tire Centers has expanded rapidly throughout the Valley in recent years and will open two more centers in the area by the end of the month.
A new Hanford store celebrated a soft opening last week and will host a grand opening celebration March 24-26. The event will feature discount specials and giveaways, including tickets to Disneyland and a Carrie Underwood concert.
A weekend fundraiser will also be held in partnership with the city’s two high schools and the company looks forward to making new connections with the community, said Randy Hecker, South Central California Area Manager.

“We have a definite passion for giving back to the community,” he said.
Located at 330 N. 12th Avenue, the facility is the first Les Schwab in the city and one of the few South Valley locations. The company also has centers in Dinuba and Porterville.
Reedley is also getting its first Les Schwab center this month, and the chain will open the new space on March 30. Both the Reedley and Hanford facilities are approximately 12,000-square-feet and will create a total of 20-28 new jobs.
“We’ve been expanding everywhere in the last few years but it’s just a really god fit and a really good benefit to the [local] market,” Hecker said. “We’re proud to say we cover the whole Central Valley region now.”
Based in Bend, Oregon, Les Schwab Tire Centers has remained a family-owned company since its founding in 1952. Over the years, the chain has attempted to grow organically, and places a large emphasis on customer service and community relations, Hecker said.  

The Annex Kitchen expands
with new private dining room
The Annex Kitchen in north Fresno has officially opened its new private dining room, offering family-style meals for private groups celebrating special occasions.
The space has been in the works since the restaurant opened last year and will serve as an additional venue for customers looking to host business meetings, family events or other special occasions, said chef Jimmy Pardini.
Located near the Annex Kitchen’s wine cellar, the space offers a cozy vibe away from the main dining areas.
Customers will be able to build their own menus by selecting multiple courses from The Annex Kitchen’s regular offerings, and Pardini recommends guests start off with a salami board or other light starter before moving on to a pasta course followed by a meat dish.
“They could do any of our proteins, like the platter or braised short-ribs with veggies from the hearth,” he said. “It’s fun because you get to watch a bunch of these foods come out of the kitchen on large platters and then pass it around just like at the family table.”
So far the space has only hosted a few events, but Pardini said he thinks the private dining venue will become a popular choice for Annex Kitchen customers.
“It’s definitely something for a festive environment and food-focused events,” he said.
That twin emphasis on food and family is rooted in the history of Pardini’s operation. The restaurant is a family affair, and is located next door to Pardini’s Catering and Banquets, which continues to be owned and operated by patriarch Jim Pardini.  
The Annex Kitchen added to the family’s business portfolio when it opened last summer and has quickly developed a loyal client base.
“We’re very, very happy with the response from the community. We’re definitely feeling the love here,” Jimmy Pardini said.

Hannah Esqueda  |  Reporter can be reached at:
490-3466 or e-mail hannah@thebusinessjournal.com

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