A Long Beach business with humble beginnings is reaping the rewards of decades of hard work. In 1970, Gerald Favre was selling and repairing lawn mowers as a side job. Jerry's Lawn Mower Sales and Service has come a long way since then and on Thursday, the business celebrated its achievements.
Long time customers say they feel good about spending their money at Jerry's Lawn Mower, which sells Stihl, Weedeater, Echo, Shindaiwa and Toro outdoor power equipment.
"Everything I need I buy over here," Al Boro said. "I need any service, I come over here."
"You couldn't ask for better people," James Noble said. "They're good neighbors. Good business people. They keep their word. If you have a problem with your equipment. You bring it back, they fix it. Everything turns out good."
Family and friends gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new store. Gerald Favre said it's a far cry from his work space 40 years ago.
"I was working at Ingalls shipyard and in the afternoons I was working out of a chicken coup behind my father-in-law's house," said Favre. "So Jerry's Lawn Mower really started in a hen house."
Now Favre's 9 employees work out of a 5,000-square-foot building, which he said is a big improvement from the previous store.
"It's a little nicer to come in and see the displays," he said. "I didn't have these displays in the other building. It was hard to display equipment. Where you could see it and look around. "
"We've got a good display area. We've got a huge repair area and a nice parts area, so we're able to service the coast."
Favre said he's proud of how the Long Beach business has grown over the past 40 years, but he's more proud that the commitment to customer service hasn't changed.
"We've been a service orientated business ever since I opened it," Favre said. "I've always had the philosophy that if you take care of your customers, your customers will take care of you. It's been a long hard struggle. The wife and I, and the kids, we fought through. We made it."
Gerald Favre said he and his wife Conchetta plan to eventually turn the business over to his son and daughter-in-law.