Oldest Downtown Chico Businesses Honored

CHICO — Downtown Chico’s oldest businesses were honored Monday at the Chico Legacy Downtown Business Reception at Parkside Tap House.

Attendees enjoyed drinks and snacked on food from Parkside Tap House while Chico Councilman Sean Morgan hosted the event with a rousing speech honoring several businesses. He would name companies by their longevity and tell a funny anecdote or story as representatives from each company came to receive a certificate of recognition from their company.

“We fought for families, futures and parking,” Morgan said. “The new company is 43 years old. We have been through disasters, blessings and the pandemic. »

The oldest business in downtown Chico is Collier Hardware, which opened in 1871. The newest is Brooklyn Bridge Bagel Works, which opened in 1979.

“Carol started the 5th Street Clothing Co. because no one wanted to hire her,” Morgan joked. The store opened in 1978.

“Campus Bicycles is the fabric of our community,” Morgan said. Campus Bicycles opened in 1975.

Morgan said it’s a Chico tradition that couples start school in Chico State, meet at Madison Bear Garden and buy their wedding rings at Kirk’s Jewelry. Kirk’s Jewelry opened in 1973.

Northern Star Mills, which opened in 1898, is owned by a third generation of family owners, Morgan said.

Chico State President Gayle Hutchinson came forward to accept the Chico State Award. Chico State opened in 1887 and was originally called California State Normal School.

“Without Chico State, Chico is just Red Bluff,” Morgan said.

Morgan spoke of the Chico Enterprise-Record, which began in 1873, saying the journal never missed a publication date.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as one of Chico’s oldest businesses, especially alongside so many other local businesses that have been an integral part of the community for so long,” said Mike Wolcott, Editor. Chief of Chico Enterprise-Record. “It’s been 169 years since we printed our first edition, and we look forward to many more to come as Chico continues to grow and prosper.”

Morgan said he was chosen to host because he wasn’t afraid to “set himself on fire” in front of people who would come out and watch.

“I’ve crossed the line, but it hasn’t thrown me off balance yet!” said Morgan.

In addition to being a councilor for the Chico City Council and former mayor, he served as a council representative for the Downtown Chico Business Association and worked as a newspaper boy for the Chico Enterprise-Record when he was 9 years old.

“Businesses are super important to the community,” Morgan said. “Without them, there is no community.”

Morgan said many years ago companies such as “the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker” came together to make it easier to trade.

“We’ve created a community with Collier Hardware and some of the older ones,” Morgan said. “It’s a safe place to start a business and raise a family.”

Jennie Blevins writes a business column once a week. To make suggestions, submit ideas for future columns or to provide feedback, email [email protected]

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