Planet Books

Bound by a love of books and knowledge, James Rappaport (pictured) and business partner Michael Munns opened Planet Books at 3917 E. Anaheim St. just before Thanksgiving in 1998. “We knew each other from hanging out at a collectibles store in Long Beach back in the ’80s,” Rappaport said. “We liked the idea of storytelling. Books don’t let you down.” The name from the shop came from its original premise – a science fiction bookstore. Soon, though, the two branched out into other areas. “We have always had hundreds, or thousands, of high school yearbooks,” Rappaport said. Planet Books also developed a following for its collection of township and military histories, he noted. “I always try to have really nice fiction and literature, especially award-winning books,” he said. The majority of books in the store are used, and small paperbacks sell for $1. Planet Books also carries rare and signed books, as well as vintage metal toys. “My business partner, he has been collecting them for a long time, and he has been selling them since the ’80s,” Rappaport said. “You never know what’s going to come in the store one day or what you’re going to sell the next. It’s a true adventure, that’s for sure.” For more information, call 562/985-3154.

 

Iguana Kelley’s

Four years ago, Steve and Melissa Guillen bought Iguana Kelley’s, a bar located at 4306 E. Anaheim St. “I did pretty well in my previous job and decided to take the leap out of the corporate world,” Steve said. “So we basically cashed out on our 401(k) plan and rolled the dice by buying an existing business.” Prior to purchasing the bar, Steve worked as a restaurant consultant, helping restaurants such as BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and Elephant Bar open new locations across the country. After a two-year search and several negotiations with bars around Long Beach, the couple purchased Iguana Kelley’s, and Steve quit his day job. Steve said his favorite time of the year is tax season, when he gets to hand his six full-time and four part-time employees their W2 forms and know that he is helping provide for others and their families. He explained that he feels intertwined with the local community and that other bars around the city inspire him to be better. “There’s the old term the ‘dive bar.’ And we believe that we’ve revolutionized the dive bar scene by getting away from being the dirty, seedy place to being a fun, comfortable, clean establishment,” Steve said. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/IguanaKelleys. Pictured from left: Melea, Melissa, Stevie and Steve Guillen.

 

Paul’s Glass Co.

Paul’s Glass Co. has been located on Anaheim Street since 1944. The great-great-uncle of brothers and co-owners Todd and Kory Bersuch – the original Paul – was the company’s founder. It has stayed in the family for four generations, and the Bersuch brothers’ father is still involved, although he is semi-retired. “We take pride in our work, and we make sure it gets done right. We like to get out there and get working on jobs,” Todd Bersuch said. Paul’s Glass handles both walk-in residential customers and commercial jobs. “We have a big walk-in trade for single pane windows, mirrors, table tops, and replacement glass for a lot of the property management companies,” Bersuch said. The business “does a little bit of everything,” with the exception of auto glass. It was originally located catty-corner to its spot at 2400 E. Anaheim St. Because it has been based there for so long, the firm mostly does business within the city, Bersuch noted. “It’s high traffic, and it’s a great spot for our company,” he added. “I have to give credit to our employees who have been with us for some time, especially our manager Sam. He has been with us 30 years,” Bersuch said. “It’s huge for us because that’s what it takes to keep our business going – a good team.” For more information, visit www.paulsglass.com. Todd, left, is pictured with Kory.

 

Roundin’ 3rd Sports Bar & Grill

After about 20 years working in management in the restaurant industry, Geoff Rau and his wife, Karna, teamed up to open Roundin’ 3rd Sports Bar & Grill at 4133 E. Anaheim St. “I was general manager at Claim Jumper for 15 years and Islands Restaurants for four years and then Yard House for a couple of years, so I have been in the restaurant business for a long, long time,” Geoff Rau said. “We always had the dream of not working for someone else. Both my grandparents owned their own business – and my dad too – so it kind of runs in our family.” Rau takes pride in the restaurant’s menu, which his friend, an executive chef based out of Colorado, helped him create. “Eighty percent of our menu is made from scratch, so it is a little bit higher end than most sports bars are going to get,” he said, noting that the menu features mostly burgers, sandwiches and salads. “The fact that people can get here by walking is great. That area is really starting to come alive,” Rau said of the location. Two years ago, the business was doing so well that the Raus opened a second location in Upland. They are hoping to open a third location in the City of Orange in the near future. For more information, visit www.roundin3rd.com.

 

Solar Source

Jarrod Osborne moved to Long Beach in 2000 to pursue a business economics degree at Cal State Long Beach. After graduation, he decided he was attracted to construction, an industry his father and grandfather belonged to before him. In 2007, Osborne opened Solar Source, a solar energy equipment supplier, at 4801 E. Anaheim St. “It’s important that homeowners and businesses have energy choices and have the opportunity to buy their own power and own their own energy,” Osborne said. “And it’s clean power, so it’s kind of a win-win.” The company currently has nine employees and works with customers from start to finish – energy and financial analysis, design, engineering, permitting, installation and fulfillment with utility companies. It’s a true one-stop shop for home and business owners looking to utilize solar energy. Many clients are located in Long Beach, but Osborne said the company has worked as far as San Diego and Chico. “The message we like to let people know is that we are a local, family-owned business. We’re not a big Bay Area franchise that’s just focused on lead generation and sales quotas,” Osborne said. “Our business was really built on referrals, word of mouth and our reputation.” For more information, visit www.solarsourceinc.com.

 

Tom’s Automotive Service Center

On April 3, Tom Bennett opened Tom’s Automotive Service Center at 4401 E. Anaheim St., after more than 17 years operating in Signal Hill as Tom’s Tire Performance Center. Bennett said he grew up in Long Beach and was around the auto repair industry his whole life. Prior to opening up shop in Signal Hill, Bennett was in business in the San Gabriel area, commuting back and forth each day. When he lost his shop to eminent domain, he decided to move closer to home. He explained that, having been in the service business his whole life, he enjoys talking to people and helping solve their problems most. “We are very customer service-oriented. We’ve always been that way – even before Yelp and those review sites,” Bennett said. “I think the expertise of our technicians and the expertise of our sales staff, our state-of-the-art facility with the latest diagnostic equipment – our facility is brand new – [sets us apart from other shops].” The shop offers a variety of services, including brakes, alignments, diagnostics, auto repair and, of course, tires. Bennett said the family-owned and -operated shop provides customers free rental cars or gives them a ride home if needed. For more information, visit www.tomstire.com.

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