While a couple shops in downtown Turlock have closed their doors in recent months, just as quickly new tenants have filled them, such as Minerva’s Furniture which seized the opportunity to establish an additional showroom in the former Ritzy Ragz and Thingz location.
A vast amount of space for a downtown shop, the brick walls of the 126 West Main St. location are an ideal backdrop for the custom furniture that will be on display at the new Minerva’s Sofa Company.
“A lot of people didn’t realize we had custom furniture because we didn’t have a lot of space to display it,” said Fabiola Sanchez-Sandoval, who owns the business with her husband Jorge Sanchez and brother Carlos Sandoval III.
Just a stone’s throw away is Minerva’s present location on Market Street where the family-owned store has been since 2008. The new downtown storefront will afford the store increased visibility, but Minerva’s is no stranger to the downtown having moved several locations in the past few decades.
Carlos Sandoval Sr. and his wife Carmen Sandoval began Minerva’s in the mid-1980s after establishing a small 2,000 square foot store on 4th Street. The Sandovals interest in the furniture industry was precipitated by Sandoval Sr.’s experience fixing and selling washers and dryers at the flea market. Once customers began to request additional items like dressers and bedroom sets, Sandoval began to cultivate clientele and lay the foundation for his business.
“He never said no,” recalled Sanchez-Sandoval.
Eventually the family owned store moved from its 4th Street location to open up shop at its first West Main Street location in the mid-1990s. However, a fire in the building forced the store to move to another West Main Street storefront before settling into their present location on Market Street in the former Youngdale’s building.
The can-do attitude exhibited by Sandoval Sr. is continued today as the three owners continue to emphasis customer service, accessibility and quick turnaround time at their newest location. All of the furniture that will be on display in the new showroom is made in the United States and will be for custom order with a turnaround time of two to three weeks.
“We can do that because it’s made in California,” explained Jorge Sanchez. “If you’re ordering furniture from the East Coast that’s easily going to be at least eight or nine weeks.”
With customizable dimensions for the furniture and over 500 fabrics available to choose from, roughly 20 sofa sets as well as accessories will be on display for all tastes and price points at the new location said Sanchez-Sandoval.
“We’re offering items for everyone not just our high-end customers,” she emphasized.
Minerva’s will also be adding a few jobs to the downtown economy as well as they are looking for employees with experience in the furniture industry for the new space which is slated to open in mid- to late March.