The Sentinel would like to spotlight Geta Xpress as they celebrate 30 years in the community with a brief question and answer session.
Name of business: Geta Xpress
Contact information: Kazutachi "Tom" Tamura is the owner/operator of the restaurant, located at 480 N. 11th Ave., in the Hanford Town Center. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The phone number is 582-6821 to call your order in for take-out or dine-in.
Q: What's the owner's background?
A: Tom was born and raised in Japan and graduated from law school and went to work for Avon Japan in the corporate office. After moving up through Avon, the company decided to sponsor him to come to America to expand his English education. Tom was allowed to pick any state he wanted, and always up for a challenge, he said he picked Louisiana because there were few or no Japanese communities in the state in 1972. Tom knew if he had a broad support group he would use it as a crutch and this would hinder his education at Louisiana State University. After university, he started out with a franchise called "Takee Outee" and eventually managed all the stores along the East Coast. Having accomplished this goal, his next was to begin his own start-up and Geta Xpress was born.
Q: When did your business open, are you in the same location?
A: Geta Xpress opened in August 1987 in the Hanford Town Center shopping center. At the time, Tom's business partner lived in Kings County and it seemed like a good place to start a business.
Q: What makes your business different from others?
A: Geta Xpress is a fast food Japanese restaurant, but what makes it stand out are the fresh ingredients, no packaged sauces or prepackaged ingredients. The recipes are fine dining quality and unique to Geta Xpress. The menu has expanded over the last 30 years, with sushi rolls and even desserts, but the customer favorites like the chicken bowl, egg rolls and Geta chicken have staying power.
Q: Do you have long-term employees?
A: General manager Raul Rodriguez and kitchen manager Adriana Cruz have been with the company for a decade and counting. Raul is up on new trends, innovative and ready to improve the business when he can. Adriana runs the kitchen efficiently and ensures the quality and freshness of the ingredients and dishes that come from the kitchen.
Q: What would you attribute to the business's longevity in Kings County?
A: Hanford and the surrounding area have a great sense of community and support local businesses when they can. We offer quality food with a friendly atmosphere which had made for us customers who have turned into great friends. Throughout the years we have seen many people from out of the area and state and it is nice to know locals recommend us to these visitors. We would like to thank all of our customers new and old for the support you have brought to us in the last 30 years.