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Castro Valley: Small Town Shops Sell Big Time Charm

In Castro Valley Small Town Shops Sell Big Time Charm-- A Photo-Essay

 

(Editor's note: Local photographer Jenny Hom wanted a project that would help her learn and grow creatively. She reckoned that the construction on Castro Valley Boulevard had hit shopkeepers hard and thought they could use some publicity. This is the result.) 

I knew I lived in a small town.  In fact, I'd just assume the average person had no clue about Castro Valley.  When asked where I lived by someone who did not live in California, I'd simply reply, "close to San Francisco".  Or if asked by someone from California, I'd reply, "close to Oakland".  Or even if asked by someone from the Bay Area, I'd clarify by saying, "Do you know where Hayward is? Close to there."

Castro Valley isn't exactly the hotbed of culture, or a gourmet ghetto.  There are a few events that draw visitors from out of town--and those I can name on one hand.  But what Castro Valley lacks in sophistication, it makes up in charm.  It has a neighborhood feel, the kind where you go to the grocery store and can't help but bump into a few people that you know.

It is that small town feel that makes this place unique.  It is this quality that carries over into its community and businesses.  Unfortunately, the past year has been challenging for local shop owners due to the poor economy, as well as, the road construction along Castro Valley Boulevard and Redwood Road.

As a freelance photographer, I wanted to pursue a project close to my heart.  I found it heart breaking to see many of the long established store fronts close forever.  I wanted to visually feature a few shops and give some positive publicity back to our community.  With the road construction coming to an end, hopefully old business will return and new business will come.

I was overwhelmed with the wonderful people I met on this journey.  Shop owners welcomed me into their stores, took the time out of their busy schedules to talk with me and pose for a picture. They showed me the true meaning of generosity.  I watched them give that same hospitality to their customers.  For most shop owners, Castro Valley is not only where they work, but also where they live.  They have much invested in this community.

For them, it is a business of heart and soul.

 Businesses featured: 

Rowell’s Saddelry

3473 Castro Valley Blvd.

Castro Valley , CA 94546

510-581-2577 

 

Swiss Delices fine bakery & pastry

20669 Santa Maria Ave.

Castro Valley, CA 94546

510-881-8669

www.swissdelices.com 

 

Eden Bicycles

3318 Village Dr.

Castro Valley, CA 94546

510-881-5002

www.edenbicycles.com 

 

Rudy’s Donut House

3692 Castro Valley Blvd.

Castro Valley, CA 94546

510-889-1109

 

Bolt’s End Fabrics, Inc.

2743 Castro Valley Blvd.

Castro Valley, CA 94546

510-537-1684 

 

Village Barber Shop

3372 Village Dr.

Castro Valley, CA 94546

510-881-9555

www.villagebarbershop.com

What do you think? Leave a comment about Jenny's efforts and, of course, about the shops.

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cliff Lowe October 17, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Nice pics. The photographer has a nice eye for composition and color. Good job, Jennifer
Analisa Harangozo (Editor) October 17, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Loved this project and enjoyed seeing all the local business owners featured in it. Nicely done, Jennifer.
Linda Klann October 17, 2012 at 09:13 AM
Beautifully done Jen! I enjoyed seeing Castro Vally through your eyes ❤
VirtualNana October 17, 2012 at 07:59 PM
This post with wonderful storyline and inspiring photos highlights and emphasizes the importance of "buy local". All too often we take for granted that there will always be enough and a variety of retail options. For me, it's service that counts and I am willing to pay for it whenever I have a choice. Think of it as an investment in a thriving, more vibrant community!
ms March 09, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Alameda County Library collects languages that support the community demographics. A Community Language Committee was formed to identify the needs of communities and sustain a balanced collection of international languages. Thanks. Regards, http://youtu.be/7m7QEilKvRk | green coffee bean extract

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