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Family-run 7-Eleven closing after 27 years

Company chose to close the location but it offered to relocate the owner

Posted: April 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Members of the Manalastas family pose in front of their 7-Eleven store at 23342 Valencia Blvd. in Valencia. From left, Danny Manalastas carries his grandson Jacob, 4, and is accompanied by wife Marylou, son Ron, grandson Joshua, 1, and daughter Aimee. The 7-Eleven company decided to close the Valencia store after 27 years of operation. But th...

What 7-Eleven, Inc. giveth, 7-Eleven, Inc. taketh.

Danny Manalastas began working with the 7-Eleven company as a clerk in 1972 in Virginia. Working his way up through the ranks as sales manager, the company later moved him to California as a trainer for the corporate office, working with all of the franchise owners.

Moving to Santa Clarita in 1983, Manalastas later opened his own 7-Eleven store on Valencia Blvd. in May of 1986.

“I was trying to prepare for three children who would be going to college,” he said.

Son Ron Manalastas, now an anatomy and physiology teacher at West Ranch High School, recalls the whole family helping out at the store over the years. His mom, who now works locally for Kaiser, ordered groceries. Ron, his brother and sister stocked shelves and helped out at the store.

“That store helped put us through college,” Ron Manalastas said. “We met a lot of good people through the store; regular customers that we see every day. Some people have seen us grow up and start our own families.”

After 27 years, the 7-Eleven operators decided to close the Valencia location, Danny Manalastas said. The store is closing for good at 10 p.m. on Thursday.

“Sales started going down five years ago when they opened the Newhall Ranch Road store,” he said. “They’re always looking for better locations and ways to increase profits. When the other store opened we lost some traffic.”

The 7-Eleven company, however, is offering Manalastas the opportunity to re-open a store anywhere in the world and will cover his franchise fee, he said.

“My wife and I are going to look at a store in Plano, Texas,” he said. “It’s a similar community to Santa Clarita.”

But the family-run 7-Eleven holds many memories for the family.

One week after the 7-Eleven store opened, a pool of 22 employees from the K-Mart down the street bought a winning lottery ticket there. The $17 million jackpot ended up being split by two winning ticket holders in California, Danny Manalastas said.

“During that time, a struggling business receiving one-half of 1 percent commission for selling the winning ticket supported us a little bit,” he said.

The store was also a favorite stopover spot for young people going to the Mann theaters that once operated on Cinema Drive, Ron Manalastas said.

“Every Friday and Saturday night kids used to stop by to get candy before going to the movie theater,” he said.

Then there was the Sunday morning when both father and son were robbed at knife point. Having just opened, the store only had $20 in the cash register. The thief continued committing robberies until he was shot by a store owner in Sylmar, and arrested, Danny Manalastas said.

Over the years, the local 7-Eleven supported a lot of athletic programs at the local high schools and contributed to the Pony Baseball League that sits behind the Mercedes Benz dealership, he said.

The family supported the children and the students supported the family-run store as well, coming in every weekend to buy snacks, Danny Manalastas said. It was a neighborhood store back then, he said.

“I feel sad,” Danny Manalastas said. “The kids grew up there. It was really a neighborhood 7-Eleven store.
They’ve been my customers for the past several years. When they spilled something, they cleaned it up. But the neighborhood is very different now.”




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