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J & R MEAT COMPANY
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce J & R Meat Company as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
J & R Meat Company has been serving the Porterville community for more than 39 years and is located at 24 South Cobb Street. The business has been a family owned business since its inception. First owned by John Roberts then later by Dennis and Peggie Kendal and now owned and operated by Kelly Stock and family.
The Stock family has owned and operated J & R Meat Company since 2014, and has continued the tradition set forth by the Kendal's of making dinner easier by prepping a variety of meats to be taken home and thrown on the grill J & R Meat is a part of many family holiday and weekend barbeque traditions.
J & R Meat Company began nearly 40 years ago by processing beef, pork and poultry for wholesale customers as well as maintaining a retail store front for Porterville customers. Over the years items have been added to better service the wholesale customers. The retail side has also grown with their signature seasoned beef roast (aka Clod Roast), turkey, chicken and pork roast, and their world renowned seasoning, which has been shipped as far as Germany. Around the holiday seasons, roasts ship throughout the states. J & R Meat Company has distributors in Chico and one in Los Angeles.
J & R Meat Company pride themselves in providing their customers with the highest quality products at a fair price and providing excellent customer service. Whether it's a wholesale customer or a retail customer, every customer is important to them. They are members of the Chamber of Commerce and support local service clubs such as Breakfast Rotary, Springville Lions Club and the Porterville Breakfast Lions Club. Along with supporting the local service clubs, they also are involved in the community in many different ways. J & R Meat Company is a sponsor for the Porterville annual Rib Cook-Off as well provides the ribs for the event. They support 4H Youth, youth sports programs and band programs, other school programs such as St. Anne's School, local high schools, and church fundraisers. "Being able to support our local community is only affordable by those that support us, which we are grateful," says Kelly.
Kelly's favorite part of the business is meeting customers and knowing that they have done their customers expectations. "When you have customers come back and tell you they served relatives from out of town or from another state saying that it was the best meat or steak I have eaten, you know your customer has been treated correctly."
J & R Meat Company currently has eight employees and hires additional help during the holidays. "It's all hands on deck during our busy times," says Kelly and the holiday season which is just around the corner.
Congratulations to J & R Meat Company for being recognized as a Porterville Outstanding Business Honoree.
Outstanding Business Honoree
GIOVANNI'S PIZZERIA AND ARCADE
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce Giovanni's Pizzeria and Arcade as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
Giovanni's Pizzeria and Arcade is owned and operated by Pat and Maria Mena. The Mena's, being entrepreneurs with a background in real estate, began looking for a business in 2006. The Mena's soon realized that Porterville was in need of a family friendly pizzeria and arcade. They purchased their facility at 45 North Second Street and opened Giovanni's Pizzeria and Arcade in August 2007.
The Mena's goal was to offer the best pizza, arcade, and party experience for families in Porterville. They sought the experience of arcade vendors and began attending the International Pizza Expo. They had a great business idea in opening Giovanni's Pizzeria and Arcade, but didn't have the experience in operating a pizzeria and arcade business. They were fortunate to meet an arcade vendor that helped guide them through the games, they continue to attend the International Pizza Expo to bring back new ideas to implement at Giovanni's.
Giovanni's offers a great venue for families, sports teams, and clubs to have parties and fundraising events. This is evident, as they host over 1,200 parties a year. They have over 50 video games as well as nine 50-inch televisions to entertain young and old alike. Giovanni's menu boasts choices of delicious pizzas, buffalo wings, chicken strips, chile verde tornado, nachos and specialty pizzas like the Pancho Villa, Farmers Market, Hot Cheetos Pizza, and their famous salad bar.
The Mena's are not just about pizza and games, they are also involved in the community. Giovanni's supports several local youth activities throughout the year, including the annual Kids Fest. Pat and Maria both are graduates of Leadership Porterville and members of the Porterville Exchange Club, Maria is a past president and member of SETCO. Pat has also been a board member of the Central Valley Family Crisis Center, United Way and Sierra View Foundation Board.
The Mena's attribute the success Giovanni's Pizzeria and Arcade has had to God and the Porterville residents, who continue to support them. Their favorite part of the business is the joy in watching kid's faces when they walk in and see all the games.
Congratulations to Giovanni's Pizzeria and Arcade for being recognized as a Porterville Outstanding Business Honoree.
Outstanding Business Honoree
SMEE HOMES, INC.
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce Smee Homes, Inc. as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
Smee Homes, Inc. began as Smee Builders, Inc. and opened their doors in Porterville in 1979, founded by Gary Smee. They made their mark in the development industry building homes for families throughout Tulare County. On June 1, 2017, Smee Builders transitioned to operate as Smee Homes, Inc. As Smee Builders, they completed several subdivisions throughout Tulare County. Smee Homes, led by President Jason Moyes, has continued with developments in Visalia, Springville, Lindsay and Porterville. Currently Smee Homes is building homes in multiple developments and on semi-custom lots in Tulare County.
Smee Homes atributes the success they have had in Porterville to Porterville being a family-oriented community. Moyes stated, "Each home that Smee Homes builds is built to the highest standard and ultimately meets the wants and needs of our clients and that is due to the hard working employees at Smee Homes, Inc."
They not only give back to the community by developing housing, but also participate in many charitable activities. Smee Homes sponsor several local youth recreational activities. Smee Homes sponsor several local youth recreational activities in the community such as basketball, baseball, volleyball, and rodeo. Smee Homes annually collects and donates sleeping bags and warm socks to Project Homeless Connect. They also partner with Melson Realty to collect and provide gifts for children for the Poplar Santa program. Smee Homes contributes to scholarship funds at Point Loma Nazarene University annually and work with Village of Hope International.
When asked what distinguishes Smee Homes, Inc. from other development companies, Moyes stated, "We work hard to do our best and to provide the best experience and product for our client."
Jason Moyes stated that his favorite part of the business is that "With all preparations and decisions to be made during the home building process, it can be an overwhelming and stressful time for the future homeowner. But when the home is complete and we hand the keys to the new homeowner and the look on their faces is of pure joy and excitment."
When asked what the future holds for Smee Homes, the reply was simple, to continue to do what they do and do it well. Mr. Moyes stated that they "strive to provide an excellent product and maintain lasting relationships with our homebuyers: past, present and future."
Outstanding Business Honoree
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce AgriCare, Inc. a subsidiary of AgriVision as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
For more than 28 years, AgriCare's focus has remained steady, striving to exceed customer expectations by providing professional farm management services with a focus on stewardship of the land.
AgriCare, Inc. was founded by Tom and Karen Avinelis in Lindsay in 1990. The business began as a farm management company servicing a few hundred acres in the central valley. AgriCare has grown to now service over 10,000 acres between California and Oregon. AgriCare specializes in full-service farm and agricultural asset management for a variety of permanent crops including: citrus, olives, blueberries, table grapes, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios.
In January 2013, they purchased the building that serves as their corporate office. The move allowed for the growth in their team that provides services to their clients in farm operations, finance, accounting, agronomy, food safety, employee safety and regulatory compliance. The corporate office now services farms in California's San Joaquin Valley and Oregon's Willamette Valley and currently has 200 employees, 90 in California and 110 in Oregon. AgriCare attributes their success they have to the "incredible team of professional , knowledgeable adn passionate employees."
AgriCare distinguishes themselves from other full service farm management companies with their business model which allows them to be flexible to meet the unique needs of each landowner, from the small family owned property to the institutional investment group with multiple assets. They are also unique in the mix of permanent crops that they manage citrus, blueberries, table grapes, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios.
AgriCare's focus on stewardship has led to their desire to serve the the community. They have long-standing educational scholarship program for their employees and their children, which has earned AgriCare the 2018 UpSkill Tulare County Award from the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board. They also support the Foodbank at the Iglesia Emmanuel in Porterville and host blood drives twice a year, support local schools and sports teams with sponsorships and are involved in the Porterville Chamber of Commerce. AgriCare also support Young LIves Tulare County, a ministry focused on helping teenage parents and their children. The employees of AgriCare Homegrown Organic Farms are actively involved in the Cultivating Care Committee which includes projects like the Thanksgiving meal, but due to their generosity, gathered enough food for 67 families. The are also involved with the Angel Tree Organization, which help inmates in our local prison provide gifts to their gifts to their children for Christmas.
The favorite part of the business for AgriCare is witnessing and being a part of the growth of their employees and their families. They enjoy being able to give back to their employees and take care of them to show their appreciation for their hard work and dedication to AgriCare and their growers.
As for the future of AgriCare, they plan to continue to focus on evolving as a business to meet the needs of their diverse client mix. They certainly see growth in the scope of their operation and in both added acreage in the region they currently service, while also expanding their geographical footprint as new opportunities arise.
Outstanding Business Honoree
BOB RUFFA ELECTRIC, INC.
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce Bob Ruffa Electric, Inc. as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
Bob Ruffa Electric, Inc. (BRE) opened for business in 1981. The specialize in residential and commercial electrical construction services. BRE has state certified electrician and trainees available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to serve the greater Porterville area. BRE specializes in wiring new construction, remodel projects and performing service work for residential and commercial customers.
BRE began with a vision to provide great service to the community and had only one employee. The business started in a small shed in Mr. Ruffa's backyard, but by 1986 the business had grown to a point that they were able to move into a commercial shop to the needs of the growing business. Bob Ruffa Electric continued to grow as they built a reputation on providing great service to Porterville and the surrounding areas. In 1998 they expanded again, Mr. Ruffa built the Porter Plaza Professional Complex, where they are now located. The store front is a 6,000 square foot warehouse and office with a lighting showroom. They currently have 14 employees.
Mr. Ruffa's two sons, Bobby nad Kenny, both work for the company along with several employees that have worked for BRE for more than 20 years. He states, "We not only workhere, but also live here and our customers and our neighbors. We try to treat our customers as we would like to be treated." When asked what the favorite part of the business is Bob replied, "Without a doubt it's the people. We enjoy meeting new customers and preserving our relationships with past customers. We take a lot of pride maintaining our customer relationships for more 30 years."
Bob Ruffa Electric, Inc. says that their entire organization is "family." They work as a team together to make sure every customer becomes a repeat customer.
The Ruffa's take a lot of pleasure in their involvment in the community. This can be seen through their many contributions to the community. The contributions include; providing lighting for the Helicopter Memorial in Veterans Park, power for the "Time Marches On" clock on Main Street, power for the Springville Rotary Park clock, lighting for the Emblem Club Battle Cross statue, yearly support of the Porterville Fair power requirements, and supporting the local 4H and FFA clubs. They also enjoy supporting local non-profits such as the Porterville Breakfast Rotary and Ducks Unlimited. Their employees are also involved in the Porterville Fair Board, the Porterville Military Academy, CASA of Tulare County and Royal Family Kids Camp.
They also locally support the Greenlight A Vet campaign where they give away green lights so that members of the community could show their support of Veterans. A few years later customers asked about supporting First Responders by giving away blue lights. BRE decided to donate them to anyone that came in to the store and said they would display them. The lights are continually available for any member of the public wanting to show their support for military and the first responders.
BRE attributes their success in Porterville to their high quality standards, integrity, honesty and hard work. As for the future plans of BRE, they would like to continue steady growth while preserving the reputation that has allowed them to serve the people of not only Porterville but Tulare and Kings Counties.
Congratulations to Bob Ruffa Electric, Inc. for being recognized as a Porterville Outstanding Business Honoree.
Outstanding Business Honoree
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce Grocery Outlet as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
Grocery Outlet, one of the nation's largest value grocery retailers opened its first location in Porterville with a grand opening on Saturday November 7, 2015.
The grocery retailer is located in the Smith's Market Shopping Center at 50 West Olive Avenue and is independently owned by husband and wife, Darwin and Lizbeth Lara.
Grocery Outlet celebrated their opening in Porerville by donating $1,000 worth of food to the Porterville Area Coordinating Council (PACC), which confirmed their commitment to helping the community.
The Lara's decided to open the Porterville Grocery Outlet in 2015, as they were looking for a new challenge that would allow them to be closer to their family and fulfill their passion of helping people.
Since their opening, Grocery Outlet has focused on providing great customer service and educating the community on their outlet business model to establish themselves in the community.
Darwin and Lizbeth attribute the success they have had in Porterville to the support from the community and their family, as well as staying open minded and dedicated to providing value to their customers.
Porterville Grocery Outlet has been involved in the community since opening. They support schools, regularly donate to chures, as well as the Porterville Fair, PACC and will be working with St. Anne's in July.
When asked about their favorite part of the business, Darwin and Lizbeth replied, "We love that we have the opportunity to interact with people every day and can make difference in people's lives. This fulfills our passion to help. Through the business we also get to teach our kids the importance of hard work which is my favorite part as a business owner and parent."
When asked about the current and future of Grocery Outlet, the Lara's replied "We want to continue providing variety in our store at the most affordable prices and at the same time increase our customer base so we can offer more job opportunities to the community. We plan on always being involved with the community and providing our helping hand at any occasion."
Congratulations to Grocery Outlet for being recognized as a Porterville Outstanding Business Honoree.
Outstanding Business Honoree
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce Hoagie's Heroes as a Business Legacy Honoree.
Steve and Joan Feleay opened Hoagie's Heroes nearly 40 years ago. Their first location was on Olive Avenue, directly across the street from Porterville High School. The eatery quickly became a favorite of the high school students. They served a variety of sandwiches, burgers and the locally-famous "Hoagies Fries". Hoagie's Heroes soon became a household name in Porterville.
The Feleays continued to enhance their business and turn potential obstacles into opportunities. An example of Hoagie's Heroes ability to adapt was when the high school went to a closed campus model in 1993, having students to remain on campus during the lunch hour. Hoagies began to contract with Porterville Unified School District to provide sandwiches to the local middle scholls and high school campuses. They found a winning combination having a drive through, delivery, school contracts and quick friendly service.
The Feleays sold their Olive Avenue location and searched to find a new site for their business. They knew that no matter where they opened, the new location would have to have a renewed look and feel as there was no replacing the original store. After months of searching, a deal was struck and their new location would be in the Centennial Plaza building. The new Hoagie's Heroes would locate in downtown Porterville, next to Centennial Park. They opened their new location on January 14, 2010, exactly 31 years after opening their first location.
Working with a brand new store allowed Steve and Joan the luxury of reinventing themselves to attract a broader clientele. They again adapted and Hoagies changed their model to cater to the downtown business. Their core products remained steady, but they were able to add a Seattle's Best menu, freshen up the logo, as well as a complete overhaul of the dining room appearance and design. "The move downtown had been great. All of the other merchants and businesses, the events, parades, functions in Centennial Park, Chamber events, have combined to make the move downtown successful. And just being a part of downtown had made us more a part of the community and introduced Hoagie's to so many new customers," said Steve.
Hoagie's Heroes was a strong supporter of the local schools and high school sports as well as they provided many local youth with their first job experience.
But like all good things, the great Hoagie's Heroes came to an end. Steve decided to retire after serving Hoagie's famous fries for nearly 40 years. We appreciate all the time Steve and Joan Feleay put into Hoagie's Heroes and into the community.
Congratulations to Hoagie's Heroes for being recognized as a Porterville Legacy Award recipient.
Outstanding Business Honoree
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce Billiou's as a Business Legacy Honoree.
Lawrence and Jean Billiou opened their store doors on April 1, 1946 in Porterville when the population was less than 10,000.
It begin as a small shop offering items such as bikes, sewing machines and more. In the beginning they offered used items they had repaired. After the war, newer products were few between. John Billiou, son of Lawrence and Jena, recalled how his dad would go to junkyards and would find old bicycles, fix them, paint them then sell them. John recounted with a smile that "the first big new item they sold was the Red Flyer Wagon."
Billiou's first location was on D Street and Putnam Avenue. They later moved to Jaye and Putnam, then to 275 North D Street and finally in 1989 they moved to their present location on South Main Street, which is now 44,000 square feet.
John took over the family business in 1989 and Billiou's became more of a distribution facility and closed its retail store.
Billiou's distributes a complete range of products filling the requirements of the outdoor power equipment. They have the most popular lines of engines, mowers, riders, tillers, chainsaws, trimmers, blowers, and other related equipment designed to meet lawn and garden needs.
The business has received many accolades over the years for their contribution to the local economy and their role with the community. In 1996, Billiou's was awarded the Porterville Area Business of the Year, and in 2001 they were recognized by Porterville schools for creating opportunities for workplace learning for local students.
In September Billiou's merged with Cantrell Turf Equipment (CTE) to form CTE+ and John announced his retirement.
John describes his final days as head of operations as mutually beneficial for both Billiou's and Cantrell Turf Equipment. One of Billiou's stipulations of the merger was that current employees and staff would remain in place under the new ownership."Without them, we wouldn't be able to do what we've done," John said. "That is not a one man job - it's a team effort involving a lot of hard work, and we cannot betray that loyalty." He also attributes the company's longevity to its workers, "If you have the right people, you make the sale. It's really the right people."
Congratulations to Billiou's for being recognized as a Porterville Business Legacy Honoree.
Outstanding Business Honoree
PSW - PROMOTING SELF WORTH
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce PSW - Promoting Self Worth as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
In 1956, Lupe and Dean Hahn as well other concerned parents of developmentally disabled children organized the "Porterville Association for Developmentally Disabled Children," which has become known as PSW. Their desire and vision was to create an organization that would offer expanded instructional and care services for developmentally disabled individuals after they completed the school programs available.
In 1957 Lupe organized a habilitation program for developmentally disabled adults in an old war surplus building located behind the Olive Street School. An ironing service was also offered to the public and still operating today as Sunshine Laundry located in the Value Village Thrift Store.
Parents liked the Workshop's proactive approach in assisting developmentally disabled adults and the program started to grow. In 1964 the Workshop, still with an all volunteer staff, found another opportunity for the disabled adults and began its recycling program.
By the early 1980's PSW had grown to 38 staff members and 198 clients. In 1985, the Independent Living Program was introduced to meet the needs of those in the community that needed independent living skills training. It helps to assist them in becoming as self-reliant as possible in the community.
By the 1990's, there were 25 company vehicles in the transportation department and 444 clients were being transported on a daily basis. in 1993, the Graffiti removal program began, where clients and staff would paint over or remove graffiti within the City limits. The Boomerang Recycling Center was remodeled into a drive through, expanding their services. PSW has additional programs employing their clientele in many additional occupations including; Landscaping, Sweeping Crews, Copy Center, Assembly Services, Confidential Shredding, Value Village, and Dairy Janitorial Services. These programs serve the community and the clients of PSW.
PSW celebrated their 60th anniversary this year and have over 225 staff and serve nearly 875 clients. They attribute the success they have had in Porterville tothe support of the Porterville Community and the tireless dedication of the staff. PSW is a nonprofit corporation with the majority of the financial support coming from the community members of Porterville.
When asked about their current and future plnas of PSW the reply was simple..."to continue to meet our mission of assisting individuals with a disability achieve a more independent and productive life. As we move forward into the future, PSW is developing plans to assist individuals moving from the Developmental Center into the community to have the quality of life that all of our current clients enjoy."
Congratulation to PSW for being recognized as a Porterville Outstanding Business Honoree.
Outstanding Business Honoree
S.T.O.P. ALARM INC.
The City of Porterville is pleased to announce S.T.O.P. Alarm as an Outstanding Business Honoree.
S.T.O.P. Alarm opened in 1978. Ron Irish had the know-how, experience, opportunity and a vision. After thirty plus years in business, it shows that all four were needed to succeed. With Ron doing the sales, installation and service, Teri Irish took care of the books and record keeping. Their partnership worked well as Ron was a big-picture person and Teri was detail-oriented.
Ron did the sales, installations and service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They would use Teri's paycheck from her day job to finance the projects Ron scheduled and then hope and pray that they would get paid before their personal bills were due.
He recalls that often, he would be in the attic running wires when a call would come in for a possible new project. He would then go home to get cleaned up, go to the sales call, then return to the job site to continue pulling wires. Teri often wore many hats as well, working as an office manager for another firm during the day and in the evenings she would work on S.T.O.P. Alarm books and answer customer's questions.
Once their business started growing, they moved into a 1,200 square foot office at Prospect and Henderson. After 20 years, they expanded to 2,200 square feet at the same location. In 2015, they bought and renovated their current 5,000 square foot facility at 65 S. Hockett Street in Downtown Porterville. They now have room enough for their monitoring, shop and all their employees.
Ron and Teri attribute many factors to their growth; being local, keeping their promises, and being fair are some of the obvious reasons, as well as having dedicated employees. They are real team members.
S.T.O.P. Alarm distinguished themselves from other security services because they are a local monitored solution and are there when when their customers need them. This is evidenced through their long term customers, some that are third and fourth generation customers.
S.T.O.P. Alarm ownership and employees not only live in Porterville, but are active in the community. Ron has been director of Porterville Adult Services, member of the Porterville Masonic Lodge, Porterville Eagles Lodge, past member of Porterville Exchange Club and is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Porterville. Ron was elected to the Porterville City Council 1997-2001, then again 2003-2007 and was the Mayor from 2010-2012. Teri was Co-Chair for the Chamber of Commerce Blood Drives from 1983-1996, member of the Soroptimist, while also serving as the President, Treasurer, and Corresponding Secretary. She is also involved in the Rotary Club of Porterville and both Ron and Teri are graduates of Leadership Porterville.
Their favorite part of the business is being challenged every day to help others by providing protection for families and businesses...but in reality, they want to install alarm systems to catch the bad guys.
Congratulations to S.T.O.P. Alarm for being recognized as a Porterville Outstanding Business Honoree.
The City of Porterville is committed to taking steps today to help ensure a prosperous energy future for residents tomorrow. By partnering with Southern California Edison (SCE) and Southern California Gas (SoCal Gas) the Valley Innovative Energy Watch (VIEW) Partnership, we are making meaningful, cost-effective and lasting changes to the way the city uses energy. By focusing on changing habits, retrofitting equipment and creating awareness the city wishes to set a positive example by showcasing just how easy it is to conserve.
The city, in conjunction with help from its supporters, has become an energy savings resource for businesses, homeowners, renters and even other local governments. Saving energy doesn't have to be difficult, in fact we want to make sure that the information you need to save energy is right at your fingertips to make it as easy as possible.
Resources for Savings:
- Current Rebate Offerings
- Home Rebates and Incentives
- Energy Saving Solutions For Your Business
- Find the Right Contractor
Programs Offered Through SCE:
Programs Offered Through SoCal Gas: