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Opinion: Home is where the heart is

I made a trip back to my old home state of Washington a few weeks ago, and one of the things that trip made me appreciate was the Madera business community.

Our local stores are heads and shoulders above the retail stores in Washington and Oregon, primarily because one does not have to fight traffic for an hour just to pick up a few groceries.

That isn’t to say the stores in Washington and Oregon are terrible. It’s just that they aren’t the same kind of hometown stores that we’re so lucky to have here.

For example, our car dealerships in this town are the best. Now, I realize that for some brands, you have to inconvenience yourself and go to Fresno, but if you don’t mind buying a car or truck that is sold in Madera, you get the best vehicles and the best service right here.

Our supermarkets are excellent. Save Mart, for example, is redecorating the inside of its store on Howard Road. That chain has another store across town to take care of its customers in the north end. Pak N Save is located in the center of the Cleveland Avenue shopping centers, and has shelves full of great products. Walmart is an unbelievably handy department store in the same shopping center as Pak N Save. It’s handy to shop in those two, well-located stores. Food 4 Less is a great market for big families. And so it goes.

Several markets cater to Hispanic families. They sell outstanding meats, great vegetables and many Hispanic goods that are in great demand in many of the city’s homes.

Some people complain we don’t have enough restaurants, but the ones we do have are good places.

We have good hardware stores, such as GBS on Howard Road and TECO on Pine Street, and the lumber yards Lowe’s and Home Depot that carry most of what you might need to build a fence or even a house.

In Massetti’s, we have one of the best appliance stores in the whole valley.

We have plenty of tire stores, plenty of body shops and vehicle repair shops that help people keep their cars or trucks running regardless of what brand those vehicles might be.

Need a tractor or farm implement? You can’t do better than the farm equipment dealers right here in Madera. These companies thrive on offering good service and keeping farmers in business during critical times such as harvest.

We have Lee’s Concrete Products which supplies the building industry.

We have dealers for computers and electronic products.

We are served by two cable companies and several cell phone companies.

You can help these many firms, and many others in your city by shopping locally, by giving them a chance to take care of your needs at reasonable prices.

The businesses in your town help support it by paying taxes and by helping nonprofit organizations that serve the needs of the public to keep going.

I can tell you that you are lucky, because you don’t have to go up to Seattle or Portland to do your shopping, cities where it takes you longer to fight the traffic than it does to make a simple purchase.

We are lucky to have the business base we have here. Take care of it by shopping at home.

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