September 24, 2015Home Furnishings
Sharon Pontes and Dollar Deal Thrift
Sharon’s dad came from Oklahoma and her mom was from Brawley, Ca. They moved to California around 1949, settling in our very own high desert town of Apple Valley. In 1957 they welcomed their 2nd child, Sharon, born at St. Mary’s in Apple Valley, and she grew up in Victorville most of her life. She graduated from Victor Valley High School in1975. Then started working at the School District right after high school. Starting as a substitute employee in the cafeteria, Sharon worked as a sub for a couple of years then went full-time. Her career at the School District spanned over 25 years. Having raised two kids in that time, Sharon found herself single by the time she was ready to retire. New adventures would be on the horizon…she had no idea!
Almost immediately after retiring she, and her new beau, Virgil Pontes opened HOME TOWN THRIFT. Their 1st, of several, adventures together. They were open for 5 years and met many good people. There were many homeless people in the area and she often helped them. They also helped her in return by preventing shoplifting which is a constant concern in retail establishment. She told me a funny story about a mattress and couple of homeless crooks. Apparently, these “chaps”decided to steal one of their mattresses and were heading across the street when they were noticed. No sooner had Sharon noticed them, a couple of their homeless friends did too, and lit out after them. That mattress was on its way back in a hurry. Lots of stories, like this one, at Dollar Deal Thrift, won’t you stop by! Another business Sharon had at the same time she was running HOMETOWN THRIFT was a mobile notary. Leaving Virgil to tend to the customer’s Sharon would head out to an appointment on a regular basis. She had regular customers that kept her quite busy during this time in her life. After 5 years they would close down the Victorville based thrift store, and were ready for another adventure.
Sharon and Virgil boughta Gas Station and Mini-Mart in Arkansas. She doesn’t remember the exact date but if you stop by and ask, she can get pretty close, lol. The store in Arkansas included a Pizza Franchise and a Deli with an apartment in the back for living quarters. The work had just begun as they moved forward re-making theGas Station and Mini-Mart into their own idea of what customers were looking for. After living in the apartment for a short time they bought a house right next to their new business. Able to move out of the apartment they decided to convert the square footage into something people could use. So, they decided ona game room. With pinball machines and a pool table it was a hit. However,Virgil believes it would have been more successful had Sharon not beat everyoneat pool, lol. As the remodel progressed, they decided to turn the game room into restaurant dining room. Where locals could come in, sit and enjoy a homecooked meal The professional restaurant equipment was a welcome change from the $20 Walmart electric grill they had when they first bought the place. They lasted many years, from about 2005 to 2010. The economy soured right around 2008 but they stuck-kit-out until 2010. Likemany people they were hit hard by the bad economy. The local boat manufacturers had moved out of state. Once manufacturing left so did most of her customers. She and Virgil gave employees 6 months’ notice to find new jobs. Mighty generous considering the economy at the time but her employees were like family as were many of her customers. One customer was so loyal she wouldn't eat anywhere else but “The Rusty Rooster”. They both love people and especially the people of Arkansas. Rusty the Rooster, a sort of mascot to their Arkansas operation made the journey back to California with them in search of better opportunities. So,began another great adventure!
They returned to California so Virgil could go back to workfor the trucking company he had retired from. As bad as the economy was, Virgil was available, and his old company wanted him back. "Timing is everything". By now it was roughly 2010. They moved to SouthernCalifornia. The small, beautiful town of Lake Elsinore. Thinking Virgil would be working at his old location it made sense. There was to be a bit of a hiccup in that plan as the job in Southern California didn’t work out and, if he wanted to stay with the company, he would need to re-locate to the San Francisco area. OK, fine no problem, so they loaded up their travel trailer and Virgil headed north by himself. Sharon stayed on in Lake Elsinore to take care of things at home. A short while later Sharon took ill and Virgil insisted, she move up to be with him and he would care for her. Well that worked out prettywell…after she recovered. Virgil had a new assistant that wasn’t able to perform her duties to the satisfaction of the company so they asked Sharon if she would like the job. WOW! For 5 great years they really enjoyed working together using their individual skills to make Virgil’s Northern California operation a real company success. Then family called and asked them to move back down south as Virgil’s mom needed help. So, Virgil and Sharon moved south to help out. Only to have his mom change her mind at the last minute. Not sure what happened there but I am sure Sharon will fill in the details when you stop by. Another great adventure…kinda sudden like, about to get under way!
So now what? No job, actually they left a great job, and now were back looking for work. They looked for work all over Southern Californiafor 2 years. Nothing. So, starting with yard sales and Virgil’s keen negotiating ability they made that work. Opening Dollar Deal Thrift was a logical extension of the garage sale since Sharon really likes dealing with thepublic and Virgil has serious buying and haggling skills. They opened Dollar Deal Thrift in the Summer of 2018. It took about 5 weeks for Virgil to take a shell of a building with thousands upon thousands of staples, nails, hooks and screws in the walls to a place they are now proud to call their own. So, it’s the beginning of another Great Adventure for Sharon and Virgil. You will now find Sharon greeting her customer’s, stockingshelves, setting up her daily, weekly and monthly sales specials. Waiting for the next customer to walk through the door to become part of THIS GREAT ADVENTURE!!!