Business

Follow-up File: The rebirth of Rons in Grover Beach

jrobillard@thetribunenews.com

Name: Ron Carlock

Job: Owner

Business: Rons

What he said then: In March 2011, The Tribune's Home & Garden section featured Rons, a new Grover Beach business owned by Ron and Peggy Carlock.

The previous summer, the couple's 26-year-old Ron’s Nursery had closed. Community Bank of Santa Maria foreclosed. After filing bankruptcy, the Carlocks opened a smaller shop in a rented space on West Grand Avenue.

"It's what I call the three R's," Ron Carlock said. "Reusing, regrouping and reimagining items from the past."

The new shop still offers some plants, but its focus is on home accessories.

It sells vintage furniture, home décor and gifts, including vintage finds from estate sales and flea markets.

What he says now:

With increasing patronage from former nursery customers, both local and from out of town, Rons is growing by "baby steps," Carlock said.

"As people have found that we reopened, business is getting a little bit better," he added. "The community support has been overwhelming — again."

This wasn't the first time the Carlocks had a major setback. In 2000, the nursery experienced a fire and had to rebuild.

When the new shop opened in 2010, Carlock said he was fortunate to hire Everardo Zarate, who'd worked for his nursery for more than two decades.

One of the most successful product lines at Rons is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

"People are still very interested in repurposing and reusing things from the past," Carlock said. "People are very much into color."

It allows crafters to paint furniture without having to strip it first. It can also be used on cabinets and other surfaces, with a variety of possible effects from a light limewash to a crackle appearance.

"I’ve had people use it on candles, concrete planters, a refrigerator," Carlock said. "One lady painted her driveway."

To promote Chalk Paint, Rons has been offering free demonstrations about every three weeks to illustrate how to achieve different effects. The most recent was June 16. The next isn’t scheduled yet, Carlock said, but will probably happen in mid-July.

Mostly, the shop owner seems grateful for another opportunity to continue the career he loves.

"I feel I’m already successful," he said. "It’s not about money. It’s about doing something I’ve had a passion for my whole life. I measure success in the friends you have, not the things you have."

Have an idea for a follow-up? Each week, The Tribune checks in with a business it has reported on before. Send suggestions to: followupfile@thetribunenews.com.

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