Established Auburn businesses move to new quarters

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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Several Auburn businesses have moved to new locations recently. Wildflower gift shop recently re-opened about three blocks away from its former spot on Lincoln Way. Auburn Gymnastics Center, previously in the DeWitt Center, is now on Palm Avenue. Always Best Care relocated from the Airport Business Park to the Creekside Center.
Wildflower has been a Downtown Auburn fixture since 1984.
“My sister-in-law, mom and I started the business,” owner Adele Wise said. “We felt there was a need for another place to shop. We started up on Cleveland Avenue and were there for several years until we moved to the Lincoln Way store.”
The new space is slightly smaller, but it was the location that attracted Wise.
“I’ve been thinking about the move for a while,” she said. “I thought parking would be better and there’s a little more foot traffic.”
Customers will find all their favorite lines and merchandise.
“We pretty much fit everything in here. It’s just organized differently,” Wise said.
Structurally she and her husband made only a few changes.
“We built a divider so we could have office and storage in the back,” she said. “Our counter is in the same place.”
The shop’s biggest sellers are the jewelry and cards. But it is also the place to find kitchen and bath items and unusual gift ideas.
“I go to the gift shows and I have sales reps who call on me with products,” Wise said. “We try to have an eye for what’s new out there. You have to change it up or isn’t that interesting anymore. When people come in, they want to see something new and something pretty.”
For Wise, being located in “a wonderful town like Auburn and having really wonderful customers’ are what makes it fun.
“I like the things I sell and I like the people I sell it to,” she said. “I have a wonderful staff — people who have been working with me for more than 20 years.”
Wise plans to have a grand opening, but hasn’t set the date for it yet.
Auburn Gymnastics Center
Auburn Gymnastics Center owner Natalie Otis discovered the sport when she was 6 years old. She’s been a gymnastics coach for 20 years.
“It’s a real passion and I’m good at it,” she said. “You find something that’s easy for you and kids respond to it. Now my shift as an owner has been to instill that love into the coaching staff. We all need to be around people who are inspiring and motivating to us.”
Otis purchased the business in May 2008 when it was located in the DeWitt Center.
“My goal originally when I bought the business was to try to grow into 150 or so students in the first couple of years,” she said “We met (that goal) within the first few months. Within six months, we had tripled enrollment there and the DeWitt Center was starting to get really tight for us two years ago.”
She’s been searching for a spot since then that offered more space and is thrilled with the Palm Avenue site.
“It is double what we had before at DeWitt,” she said. “We were in an old building with a stage so having a stage for us was not ideal. … Now that I’m in a place that really works for us and it’s really easy to teach gymnastics in, it’s a complete turnaround.
It was previously a warehouse for carpet, so it needed a lot of updating. Otis installed heating, insulation and two bathrooms.
“Around the gym we’re calling it the ‘build it and they will come’ syndrome,” she said. “The first day I unlocked the door and allowed people in, we had 15 new people sign up.”
The center offers classes and training for ages 9 months to teens. There are competition and special needs programs as well as birthday parties.
“I have a ball pit, foam pit, air tracks (trampoline training tracks), air mountains for kids to climb,” she said. “I strategically put some of the stuff in. When you’re working on trying to teach kids skills, you need that candied apple. (For example) ‘if you do 15 cartwheels, you can do this thing.’ Parents are trying to create enjoyable experiences for their kids. Being in the community and networked the way we are, I looked at other gyms and just wanted to have it all.”
Always Best Care
Always Best Care Senior Services’ new location brings it closer to the city center of Auburn.
“It gives us a lot more space so we have more room to grow,” regional manager Stephanie Watson said. “We came in and refurbished the offices and painted. It is also giving us a lot more exposure because we are right on Highway 49. So people see us and know where we are. … We get a lot more walk-in traffic and people calling and wanting to know what we do.”
Always Best Car offers non-medical in-home care services and free assisted living placement services for seniors.
“A lot of people don’t realize the assistance that is available for children (of seniors),” she said. “Especially the adult children who think they have to do it all for mom and dad. And they can’t do it all and then they find out help is available.”
Walk-ins are welcome but Watson suggests calling first.
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Auburn Gymnastics Center
290 Palm Ave., phone (530) 823-2031
Open seven days a week

809 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530) 823-8220
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Always Best Care
1478 Grass Valley Highway, (530) 885-5021
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday