Continuity and stability are 2 words that don’t come to mind in these unpredictable and turbulent economic times. One would be hard-pressed these days to find a story of perseverance where a business lasted half a century and is still going strong. One would be hard-pressed enough to give an example of this but to add that the original owner is still intact is unheard of! In an era of consolidation, buy-outs, and mergers or just plain fizzling out it is refreshing to know that there are businesses out there that thrive on their own. And do so for half a century! Here is the story of a man who exemplifies the American Dream:
April 1957 - Bakersfield, California a young man, Refugio Puente married his High School Sweetheart at the age of 20. He worked as a clerk in a neighborhood grocery store, “La Esperanza Market.” Earning $60 a week was not much for a young man starting a family, at the same time he did not want to work for someone else; he wanted to be in business for himself.
April 1960 - Refugio purchased his first truck, a 1946 Chevy Bobtail and landed his first job hauling potatoes. Due to hard work and dedication, he earned the respect of the “Big Ranchers” and other companies he worked for. It didn’t take long before he purchased another truck.
The years have passed and the business has grown, with a fleet of twenty-five trucks and thirty employees, which includes Refugio’s sons and grandsons who have also been a big part in contributing to the success of the company. Built into the fabric of the business are a strong sense of community and strong family values. This is what shines through and helps the business thrive; R. Puente Trucking, Inc., Founder, Refugio R. Puente.
Refugio is still married to his High School Sweetheart who has also helped build the business throughout the years – CONGRATULATIONS!