Central Valley born and raised, Turlock resident Jerry Powell has made a name for himself in the city through his work in real estate, construction and development and thanks to downtown nightlife destinations The Udder Place and The Grand Cru, which he co-owns. The businessman served in the Marine Corps from 1988 to 1992, and is a Stanislaus State alum. Powell also gives back to the community through his work on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, where he has served for close to 20 years.
Q: What inspired you to transition from selling real estate to becoming a restaurateur?
A: I still do commercial real estate, construction and development today, but my partner and I saw a need and an opportunity that presented itself and we took a chance. We joke that 25 years ago we would have had more fun, but we are wiser now and try to give the customer a great experience.
Q: Why did you choose downtown Turlock as the location for your two establishments?
A: We live here and knew there was a need for The Udder Place. The downtown is a great location with other surrounding businesses that add to the whole experience. The Grand Cru came about as we are older, and felt the need for a place that has a great wine selection with an upscale atmosphere that downtown and residents were missing.
Q: Can you tell us about the wall honoring veterans at The Udder Place and how it started?
A: Sure, as a veteran and whose dad served as well, we wanted to honor all veterans in Turlock and the surrounding areas that put their life on the line, which allows us and everyone to enjoy its freedoms.
Q: When you’re not taking care of The Grand Cru and The Udder Place, what is your favorite thing to do in Turlock for fun?
A: I work my other businesses mostly…hit the gym and eat at all of our local restaurants.
Q: What is the last book, television show or movie that captivated you?
A: I am reading a book by Ryan Zinke – “American Commander.” He was a Navy SEAL and now the Secretary of Interior. “Game of Thrones” is good, and I just watched the Crown on Netflix…interesting show. The last movie was “Star Wars.”
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: That I have great parents who adopted me at birth.