Word on the Street: Jo-Ann, Stein Mart to open in Clovis

The Fresno BeeFebruary 16, 2014 

This shows Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores which is under construction at Clovis Crossing on Feb. 15, 2014.

MARK CROSSE — THE FRESNO BEE Buy Photo

A Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and Stein Mart will open stores in the new Clovis Crossing Regional Shopping Center.

Developer David Paynter confirmed the retailers are the latest to commit to the center at Herndon and Clovis avenues. With the exception of one small 2,500-square-foot space, the center is fully leased.

The 18,000-square-foot Jo-Ann store is expected to open in June. It is currently under construction next to Petco.

Stein Mart sells clothing, shoes and home goods such as decor and bedding. Construction hasn't started on the 31,349-square-foot store. It is expected to open in the fall.

Both Stein Mart and Jo-Ann have one store in Fresno and will be opening their first Clovis locations.

Ad listings go local

Corey Burleson of Fresno is a former restaurateur who found himself shell-shocked by the high price of advertising. He also is a former truck driver who often found himself searching for things to do when he was overnighting in an unfamiliar city.

Burleson is using those experiences to shape www.TheBigLocal.com, a website that he hopes will be an affordable way for small businesses to advertise and build a social media following.

"I'd be sitting in a city and not know what's going on around me," Burleson said. "There might be something great two blocks away, but if a mom-and-pop place can't afford to advertise, I'd never know about it."

For as little as a dollar a day, businesses can log in and build their own ad listing, tailoring their ad up to four times a day to promote daily specials or last-minute events. Those posted ads are shared with the The Big Local's member network — about 10,000 people and growing, Burleson said. Advertisers can link their ad's posts to existing social network accounts like Facebook and Twitter for a broader reach.

"Their posts go out to our network, plus to their own networks as well," he said.

Burleson said the website's software also picks up on key words in listings, affording greater visibility for the ads in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

"I want to put the little mom-and-pop businesses on the same level and have the same advertising opportunity as anyone else," he said.

Details: info@TheBigLocal.com or (559) 906-8954.

Veggies at your door

A Salinas-based fruit and vegetable delivery service has started doing business in the Fresno area and Madera County. Front Door Farms sends boxes of fruit and vegetables to customers who order them online at www.frontdoorfarms.com.

The business says its veggies are fresher and get to customers quicker than ones in grocery stores. The vegetables and fruit mostly come from the Salinas area, with tree fruit and grapes brought in from the central San Joaquin Valley during the summer.

It's a different spin on the weekly community-supported agriculture subscription boxes that many people subscribe to.

Front Door Farms customers can order theme boxes designed for juicing, for example, or pick each item they want in their box. They also can make bulk orders of one item — say tomatoes to make tomato sauce — and subscribe to recurring boxes.

Front Door Farms President Brian Modena said he doesn't consider his company to be competition for Fresno-area farmers and their subscription boxes. His company can reach customers in far-flung areas because it uses UPS and other shipping services, he said.

The business serves most of Northern California.

 

Bethany Clough and Tim Sheehan contributed to Word on the Street. It was compiled by Clough. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6431, bclough@fresnobee.com or @BethanyClough on Twitter.

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