BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — And now for some good news.
It starts, of course, with bad news: An act of random vandalism of the sort many small businesses deal with from time to time.
But what happened next at Casa Munoz, a local, multi-generational Bakersfield restaurant, exemplifies the restorative power of faith — in people both known and unknown. And right when we all can use some of that.
Our story starts one day in mid-June, when owner Joe Munoz Jr. got a text from his sister telling him that someone had smashed the large lighted box sign on the north end of the building.
“My sister said, ‘Hey somebody broke the sign.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ They broke this. I came out, took a look. Somebody popped a big hole in it, broke it out. And I was like, ‘Really? Seriously?’ … Well, it bugged my daughter, so she put it on Facebook and goes, ‘Hey, look, you know things are hard enough as it is right now…’”
“On Facebook,” Stephanie Munoz said, “a lot of people reached out and, ‘Oh, let us do a GoFundMe or something.’ You know, all we can ask for our customers is just let us serve you …”
The family has been in restaurant business for decades. They’ve been involved in Sinaloa and Mexicali over the years, and at their present location on Union Avenue for 30 years. So Munoz didn’t it let phase him much.
He called Adrienne Taylor over at Sign Solutions of California, with whom he’s been doing business for years, and ordered a replacement sign.
A few days later he texted her to thank her for a job well done.
“I’m like, ‘What do you mean?,’” Taylor said. “So I ran and asked my husband: ‘You didn’t get that done, did you? ‘No, not yet, that’s today.’ So I texted back, and I said, ‘What are you talking about?’”
Yes, someone fixed the sign. A $600 job, apparently taken care of anonymously, free of charge and sometime after hours. And it was a perfect match for the old one.
“Some of our local customers,” Stephanie Munoz said, “were even tagging (on Facebook) some of our other customers that own sign companies: ‘This was you, wasn’t it?’ They’re, ‘No, we can’t take the credit for that, that wasn’t us.’ So we really are at a loss as to who replaced the sign for us.”
“So they didn’t do it for the money,” Taylor added. “Obviously (they were) not doing it for notoriety or attention. But just because they love the Munoz family like so many of us here in Bakersfield.”
The folks at Casa Munoz have no idea who fixed their sign. They have so many friends and family members, it could have been just about anybody.
And that’s a positive sign of the times in Bakersfield.