August 16, 2006 - When Rachel and Arnold Rascon built their Oro Valley store, they installed a kitchen. If they couldn't sell their plants and Mexican imports, they would close the store down and turn their property into a Mexican restaurant.
That was November 1977. Six months later they were making profits they expected to wait five years for. The store, Rascon Landscaping and Nursery, is now in the last days of its going-out-of-business sale.
It is closing on Aug. 18.
"We've made very good friends," says Rachel Rascon, "It's been a very good business.'
They're closing, in part, because Arnold Rascon needs more time to work on his family's ranch in Mexico. Besides, they say, many of the things they sell are now available all over Tucson.
"Even Fry's is carrying pottery now," Rachel Rascon says.
When the business started, the Rascons couldn't find those kinds of things anywhere.
In fact, that was their reason for opening. Arnold Rascon had a landscaping business and he could never find the plants and decorations he needed. He and his wife opened the store to provide these things for themselves and others.
At the time their store's location, on the corner of North Oracle Road and West Magee Road, was located "at the extreme end of nothing."
Since then, the town of Oro Valley has formed around them.
"We saw it grow up," says Rachel Rascon "They said 'bedroom community.'" She rolls her eyes towards the commercial developments surrounding their store. "Does it look like a bedroom community to you?"
The store, which in the beginning had only three employees, grew as well, to the point where the Rascons were overseeing the work of 45 people - "Too many," says Arnold Rincon. Throughout the years, the Rascons' children and grandchildren have worked at the store.
The Rascons attribute their longevity toward their ability to run a "personalized business."
"The repeat customer is what makes you," Arnold Rascon says, "not the new one."
One such repeat customer has been Foothills resident Peggy Haines, who has been shopping at the Rascons' store since she first moved to Tucson 20 years ago.
"I'm just sick that they're leaving," she says. "They're so nice to deal with."
Even though the storefront is closing, Rascon Landscaping is staying in business and will continue to use the same phone number.