Ocean View owners in Morro Bay ready for retirement

Steve and Kathy Semas are looking forward to their May retirement in Morro Bay once they close Ocean View Furniture, which they’ve run for 41 years.

“It has been an amazing success story,” Steve Semas said. “I love this community and want to enjoy it in our retirement.”

The two kicked off their closing sale at 2200 Main St. on Saturday. The inventory is being sold, with some items up to 80 percent off. They hope to lease the building for use as another type of business.

Originally from the San Joaquin Valley, the couple invested all they had to purchase the property in 1972 from A.G. and Ruth Merryman.

“We always liked the area and would vacation in a friend’s house when they vacationed,” Steve said. “I was in agriculture but inherited a talent for color and design from my mother.

After a surgery, I realized when God gives you a talent, you have to decide how to use it.”

In the 1970s, Steve enjoyed participating in Morro Bay Merchants Association fairs when businesses set up mini-storefronts at the Veterans Memorial Building.

“It was very successful, but a lot of work,” he said.

The couple has never taken a vacation.

“We’ve gone to market, but I consider that working for our customers,” Semas explained, noting many of his Central Coast customers wanted to downsize, so they would search out quality products that fit into smaller spaces. They also searched for unique accent products because they believe the “little things finish off a room.”

When asked his secret for success, Semas modestly states that it was his wife’s attention to detail, both with floor displays and in the day-to-day operations running the office; their loyal customers; and his deep faith, which kept them going, especially during the recession.

Repeat and referral business has kept their business steady.

His favorite memories included custom design jobs on the Central Coast, Palm Springs and in the San Joaquin Valley.

“Most memorable was a bachelor’s small home on a tight budget and five homes for one family in Palm Springs,” Semas said. “We enjoyed turnkey projects when families trusted us to buy and install everything — one was a 4,000-square-foot home. We even stocked the refrigerator and picked out products for their pets before the customers moved in. 

“We’ve lived this business for 41 years. We’ll be around, but not in the store.”

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.