A family of soccer players is making a business out of what they know best.
David Gregorio, who played soccer at California State University, Fresno, in 2003-04, manages Pro Soccer, which recently opened a 2,400-square-foot store at the southwest corner of Herndon and Willow avenues.
The family also operates a Pro Soccer store in Modesto. That outlet is managed by Adolfo Gregorio, a brother who played soccer for the University of California at Los Angeles and was on the national team.
A third brother, Andrew, played soccer at Fresno State with David, but is an engineer.
The Herndon and Willow location was selected because it is away from competitors, and it draws from the family-oriented households of northeast Fresno and Clovis, he said.
"It is the heart of where most of the soccer moms and young families live," said Steve Rontell, the Colliers Tingey International real estate agent who represented Pro Soccer. "They will service all of Fresno, but the highest-spending families are in the northeast and Clovis."
Pro Soccer can equip a family "from head to toe" in soccer gear, said David Gregorio.
Some people would question the wisdom of opening a store in this economic climate, but Gregorio says early activity is strong.
"There is a pretty steady business in the store," he said. "Now we have to recruit teams and clubs to do their uniforms and be their supplier."
The dairy industry can always use some good ideas, and the students from the Center for Advanced Research and Technology in Clovis are more than eager to help.
The students won $1,000 from the California Milk Processor Board as part of a new advertising campaign promoting the use of milk to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
The board's contest, No More Drama with Toma Leche (Drink Milk), included a video Web Novela and storyboard showing how milk can save the day.
The milk board, creators of the Got Milk? slogan, honored the CART students for the best storyboard, titled "The Day." The idea revolves around a guy who offers his girlfriend a cold glass of milk as she walks in the door.
CART students Sendy Garcia and Lyssette Trujillo submitted the winning entry.
"We are so ecstatic that we won," Garcia said. "When we learned about the contest, we decided to take on the project as a personal challenge. Winning the contest is icing on the cake."
The students previously won $2,000 last November in a statewide advertising competition sponsored by the milk board.
No longer a nightmare
Downtown developer Reza Assemi has cleared the property at Stanislaus Street and Broadway, at the base of the Stanislaus bridge.
Assemi said the site was cleared to improve the appearance of the neighborhood while plans for the property are being designed.
The site once housed the old Nightmare building, which was torn down because it was a dangerous structure. Cornerstone Church had owned it, using it as a "reality" house during Halloween season.
Assemi later bought it.
The developer has been active in downtown Fresno, building residential and commercial mixed-use projects. Those include Vagabond Lofts and the under-construction Fulton Park Plaza on 2.5 acres at Fulton and Divisadero streets.
Preparing for a career
Recent Fresno City College graduates could land jobs through a pilot program between the college and the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County.
The college's Employment Resource Center and the EDC's Business Expansion Attraction Retention Action Network held a graduate-preparation program for 35 city college graduates over the last few weeks.
Last month participating grads attended workshops on job etiquette, interviewing and resumes.
The agencies then reached out to businesses that were hiring for positions that matched the graduate's skills, and they hosted interviews.
As part of the process, the EDC also reminded participating businesses of state or federal tax credits they would qualify for by hiring certain candidates.