Sandwiches are offered Local farmer Keith Yamamoto was driving by the shopping center in the Wal-Mart complex on Sperry and Ward avenues in September 2012 when he saw a sign touting spaces for rent. Before he even knew what business he wanted to place in the empty area, he called the realtor and made a bid on one of the nine available spaces.
The 2008 Patterson High School grad wanted something that people would flock to and enjoy, so he decided on Togo’s Sandwiches, a franchise.
“I’m a Pattersonite, so I have a pretty good sense of what the town could use,” Yamamoto said. “I’ve decided on sandwiches — if someone wants a good healthy choice that is quality, they can get it at Togo’s and eat it in 30 minutes.”
Keith sought help from his sister, Corrin Yamamoto Rivera, an educator. They attended business classes and training seminars before they made the joint effort in hiring Paulette Chase to manage the business.
“Corrin went through the classes, so there was a huge asset in the development of the business,” Yamamoto said of his sister. “ Her thirst for knowledge helped out a lot. It wouldn’t have happened without her.”
Keith Yamamoto, who calls himself the organizer, said the construction is near completion, and all the electrical components are in working order.
He knows running a restaurant business is an all day, every day job. He expects the restaurant will stay open all week, although hours have not been set in stone yet.
Running a restaurant is a far cry from the Yamamoto family’s traditional occupation, which spans generations farming on the West Side, but Keith said he isn’t bothered by the challenge.
Yamamoto is no stranger to the work ethic carried forth by parents, Karen and Bobby Yamamoto.
In fact, he positively attributes his work experience and collaboration with his family as an upside, especially working with fellow siblings Jason, Corrin and his twin sister, Shelby.
“We are a farming family that has invested into a sandwich shop business, not the other way around,” he said. “I bring a lot of the work ethic from the farm into this business. The principle is the same — the products are different. Our philosophy is, quality work and quality service will eventually lead us to a quality return.”
Togo’s Sandwiches has 1,500 square feet of space that will seat 24 customers. The Patterson branch will also offer online ordering for all and sandwich delivery for local businesses.
Togo’s is currently accepting applications for future employees. To inquire about an application, please visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two businesses under one roof Two longtime Patterson residents, Antonio and Berenice Valenzuela, have merged two stores into one with the opening of Botanica Shango and Pet Store at 216 I St., Suite A.
The couple opened the store three months ago, taking over from former owner Daniel Martino.
The Valenzuelas owned Botanica Shango in the same business complex they are in now for 18 months before changing storefronts.
The couple carries all types of pet foods and de-wormers for chickens, goats, sheep, horses and dogs. Antonio says they sell “top of the line” pet foods with vitamins for all animals and corncobs with molasses for the horses. The storeowners also give out free samples of dog food for the family pet.
They invite residents to stop by and see the pet store, as well as the side room that houses a religious store.
“Come visit us and see what we have,” Antonio said.
The side room of the store has baptism, communion, conformation gifts, as well as candles and incense. The couple is also stocking up on their supply of cleansing soaps and natural herbs.
Botanica Shango and Pet Store, 216 I St., Suite A is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays by appointment. Call 892-6792 for information.
Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or email@example.com.