Nishimotos honored at family tribute
Chuck Doud/The Madera Tribune Dorothy Nishimoto (standing) and Ruth Nishimoto; daughter, with a gift she received.
Some 150 people gathered Friday night at the San Joaquin Winery on Avenue 16 to honor the Nishimoto family of Madera.
The Nishimotos, grocers in the central part of the city for some 90 years, closed their landmark grocery, The Bridge Store, earlier this year to pursue other business ventures.
They were known for their generosity in helping neighborhood schools, and in providing jobs for young people throughout the years.
Accolades during the evening came from came from past and present school officials, with responses from members of the Nishimoto family.
Present were past and present political figures and a cross-section of business people who came to wish the Nishimotos well in their new ventures.
They plan to continue operating their Fastway Market and gasoline station and Fastway fried chicken takeout store. They also own several business locations which they lease to others.
The business began in 1927, when Japanese immigrants Kameyo and Tamiachi Nishimoto opened the Bridge Store. It operated until 1942, when World War II led to the wartime incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry, including the Nishimotos.
After the war, they reopened the store and it grew as a neighborhood landmark both as a food store and as a place for the community to obtain many needed services.
Nishimoto Elementary School was named after the family, which whose generosity toward schools and young people was legendary.