The City of Concord, along with communities all across the United States and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is celebrating National Small Business Week. This week provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions that small business owners and entrepreneurs bring to our local and national economy. In the spirit of that recognition, we profile three small businesses to tell their stories and celebrate their contributions to the Concord community.
This week also provides an opportunity to share all the great resources that are available to small business owners and entrepreneurs that are available from the SBA and our local Small Business Development Center, which is located at the California State University, East Bay campus at 25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard in Hayward. Learn more about these resources by visiting:
Clayton Furniture (3400 Clayton Road)
Suat started working in furniture stores and decided shortly after that he could do this on his own. In 1988, he started Clayton Furniture at 3493 Clayton Road, which is now home to The Best Guys Audio and Window Tinting. The business eventually grew to its current location at 3400 Clayton Road. Suat's sister Bergin joined the business more than 20 years ago and serves as the General Manager. Together, they have persisted for 35 years in business, survived recessions and pandemics, and boast a loyal customer base that comes as far as San Francisco and Sacramento.
What Suat loves about being a business owner is the freedom and challenges that it brings. He has always been in business and loves to deal with people, which has been instrumental in building their loyal customer base. Suat's advice to other business owners is to always be honest, be truthful, and don’t be afraid of the hard work it takes to be a business owner. They have a large showroom with all kinds of unique furniture available. Stop by or visit their website at www.claytonfurnitureinc.com to check out their products.
Mercado del Sol (1450 Monument Boulevard)
Fabian Lopez started this business back in 2009 with his parents Ignacio and Consuelo. The food they serve is based on the recipes that come from their grandmother, Soledad. Those recipes were so good that they decided to share it with the community.
What Fabian loves about being a small business owner is that he enjoys getting to know his neighbors and fellow community members that come as far as Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek to enjoy their food. Receiving a thank you from their customers goes a long way and motivates him to continue trying harder and look forward to the work ahead. His advice to fellow business owners is to be patient, concentrate on your product, and to give it a little time. Mercado del Sol is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Clayton Valley Dance Academy (5416 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 60)
The business was started 20 years ago by Pam Rey. The current owner, Sarah, started off as an employee before becoming the current owner. They have three studios and 12 full-time staff who teach a variety of dance classes ranging from ballet to hip hop to jazz to tap and more. They teach to everyone ages 2 ½ to over 65 who wishes to dance to their heart's delight. They also have a competition wing composed of 4-18-year-olds who compete across Northern California.
What Sarah loves about being a business owner is being a part of and providing a service that you love for the community. They love to participate in parades and school events as their way of being involved and giving back. Sarah's advice to fellow business owners is to make sure you're doing it because you love it, and to stand by and believe in what you are doing. Learn more about their class offerings by visiting www.claytonvalleydance.com.