Everybody’s business

Mystery deli for sale
I like to check www.bizben.com from time to time (and by “from time to time” I mean during slow news weeks) and see what businesses are up for sale in the Chico area.

More often than not, it seems the owners would rather not have people know they’re selling—which seems counterintuitive if you’re looking for a buyer. So, we’re left to use clues in the ads to decipher just what is up for grabs.

The latest posting of interest is a deli that’s been in business in Chico since the 1940s. It’s in “one of the most recognized locations in Chico and the surrounding area.” The ad, with every word capitalized in the original version, goes on, “Everybody knows where this is located and how to get there! Unfortunately in this blind blurb I cannot reveal the location as confidentiality is very important to the seller. The restaurant has been the recipient of numerous awards.”

The building with two adjacent businesses is 3,300 square feet, the restaurant pays only $461 a month rent, it’s in a single-story wood-frame building, and there’s “extensive parking” and a covered outdoor dining area for 50 as well as a lawn. And this may be the giveaway: It’s currently open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Clues galore. Who can it be? The deli can be yours for $49,000.

You are now about to witness the strength of Street Knowledge
I got a press release about an award that made me very, very jealous.

The city of Gridley has been honored for its Web-based planning software by the Sacramento Valley Section of the California Chapter of the American Association of Planners.

The software is called Street Knowledge, and the reason I’m jealous is I wish Butte County and the city of Chico had the same thing. It’s really cool. You can plug in an address and find an assessor’s parcel number, or vice versa. There’s also zoning and General Plan information as well as parcel maps and aerial photos. In Chico, you have to go down to a little office on East Sixth Street where the staff is nice but the computers can be confusing—when they’re not down for repairs. Realtors, builders, planners and, yes, curious reporters are going to jump all over this technology.

The software was developed by the folks at www.upstate-ca.com, who hope to get other municipalities on board soon.

Almonds are really in
Forget about the subjective almond crop forecast of a couple of months ago. That’s old news. The objective forecast is in.

The objective forecast, based on actual nut counts, was released June 30 by the California Agricultural Statistics Service (CASS). They show an expected 1.08 billion meat pounds—1.8 percent less than the May 10 subjective forecast predicted.

But the average nut set per tree is up 2 percent from 2003, with each tree bearing about 7,162 tasty almonds. The kernels weigh a little less: 1.45 grams, a 13-percent decrease from last year.

The Almond Board of California has also released the 2003 Almond Almanac, a neat little volume filled with stats and strategies.

For example, a study found that consumers surveyed bought almonds 2.2 times per month in 2003, compared to 1.7 times in 2001. Also, 56 percent of the California almonds that are exported go to Western Europe—mainly Spain and Germany.

Butte County accounted for 59.3 million pounds of almonds produced in 2002-03.