- California Based & Growing
- Top Notch Customer Service
- In-Store Financing
- Lowest Wholesale Prices
A Natural Evolution
When Carlos Sandoval II and his wife, Carmen, decided it was time to retire, they didn’t pressure their children to continue the family’s Turlock-based furniture business. It was 2008, and the dismal economy had decimated home furniture sales. The Sandovals believed it was the right time to close the doors on Minerva’s Furniture Gallery, a business they launched from their home in 1983. But the couple’s youngest two children did not consider ending the family’s heritage to be a viable choice. “We all grew up in the business, so after school we were there helping them out,” said Fabiola Sanchez-Sandoval, the Sandovals’ daughter. She now owns Minerva’s Furniture and Gallery with husband, Jorge Sanchez, and brother, Carlos Sandoval III. Me, Jorge and Carlos turned around and said, “You know what? Let’s just make a few company changes to be able to survive this wave of the economy.” So the trio, all in their early 20s at the time, took over the business. They immediately worked to slash overhead expenses by shrinking the business to one storefront and one warehouse. Minerva’s pulled through and has since thrived, a natural evolution as far as Sandoval-Sanchez is concerned.
When Furniture Focus Began
“We love it. It’s not something we’re doing just because we were raised in the business,” she said. As a non-family member, romance is what first brought Jorge Sanchez into the business. He and Sandoval-Sanchez were high school sweethearts, and while falling in love with his future wife, Sanchez also fell in love with her family’s business. When we were in high school, at that time my parents had let go of some delivery guys and Jorge came to help out. “He helped my brother do deliveries, and he never left!” Sandoval-Sanchez said. The family business actually began as Minerva’s Appliance, named after Carmen Sandoval’s favorite “good luck” moniker. Carlos Sandoval II had a talent for refurbishing home appliances then selling them at flea markets. His customers soon began asking him to sell home furnishings as well, and in 1991 the family opened its first Turlock storefront as Minerva’s Furniture and Appliance. Eventually, the family decided to focus solely on furniture and renamed their business Minerva’s Furniture Gallery. The Sandovals’ oldest daughter, Lucy Molinari, owns Minerva’s Furniture and Mattresses in Lodi with husband Thomas Scott Molinari. The Lodi store is operated independently from the Turlock family business. Today, Minerva’s in Turlock offers home furnishings in the mid-price range of the market.
Quick Turnaround Times
About 60 percent of Minerva’s product is in stock, including dining room sets, bedroom furniture and mattresses, and living area furnishings. The onsite inventory provides customers with quick shipment. The business is also able to shorten the delivery of custom-made upholstered sofas because manufacturers are California-based. “The beauty of the California custom product is that our turnarounds are from two to four weeks compared to something on the east coast which can be eight to 16 weeks depending on where you source your product,” said Sanchez. Minerva’s currently operates two stores in downtown Turlock along with a third store in Merced that opened in February 2014 and is managed by Carlos Sandoval III. Both Turlock stores are within walking distance of each other. The first location is at 250 Market Street and displays all home furnishings. The second location is around the corner at 126 W. Main Street and is the former home of Ritzy Rags. On March 13, the family celebrated the grand opening of the new 3,100-square-foot space, which is an expansion showroom featuring Minerva’s custom California-made upholstered sofas. John Jaureguy, president of Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association and owner of Jaureguy’s Paint and Decorating is pleased to see Minerva’s growth. “I welcome it. The new store will highlight custom furniture and I think that’ll do great,” he said. Minerva’s going in downtown. That’s what makes downtown vibrant.
Family Is Key
Future expansion is definitely a possibility. “The idea of doing more of just the custom product or maybe duplicating this type of store, that’s [the] next big decision we’ll be making,” said Sanchez. Because they have always been a part of each other’s lives, operating a business together comes naturally. “We’ve all worked very close together,” said Sandoval-Sanchez. We are very close in age so that’s probably another reason why we get along so well. We grew up together, we went to school together, everything was done together. Although they do not yet have children, Sandoval-Sanchez and Sanchez have already thought about passing the business on. They are adamant that they will not pressure their kids. “We would like to see it but if it’s not something that’s in their heart I wouldn’t force it,” said Sanchez. While they both enjoy the work, there is no guarantee any of their children will. “If they don’t like their jobs, they shouldn’t take on the family business if they don’t want to,” Sandoval-Sanchez said.