San Jose’s oldest family-owned businesses

Let’s take a look at some of the oldest established restaurants, stores, and more in San Jose, CA

The exterior of Original Joe's.

You can’t miss the mint green + burgundy sign of Original Joe’s in downtown.

Photo via @signmonger

Table of Contents

San Jose is almost always experiencing rapid development — BART will soon expand to downtown, and Google’s transit village will shuffle plenty of new restaurants + shops into the great 408.

While all of that is new and exciting, we want to shed light on 18 local establishments that have served the San Jose community for 65+ years — quite impressive with our changing scene, no?

(Psst... We’d love to make this a living list, so if you know of a business to add, send us a tip.)

A retro advertisment clipping from 1996 showing Normandin Chrysler Plymouth dealership with cars infront.

Normandin’s is one of the oldest businesses still operating on the east side.

Photo via Alden Jewell

Normandin | Est. 1875

This dealership’s roots date back to the days of the horse-and-buggy. Founder Amable Normandin was a blacksmith + sleigh-maker, and opened the shop to construct buggies — an original, built in 1882, is still on site. The business has now seen five generations of Normandins.

The GrandView Restaurant | Est. 1884

The GrandView originally opened as a hotel + tavern for the Mt. Hamilton Stage Coach, which took trips from SJ to James Lick Observatory. Over the years, technical advances + natural disasters closed it down, but it rose as a restaurant, honoring the same name, in 1957.

O.C. McDonald | Est. 1906

Founded by Oren Charles McDonald more than a century ago, this company installed the first air conditioning system in San Jose. The plumbing, process piping, and HVAC service provider is currently owned and run by Oren’s great-grandson, Jim McDonald.

The exterior of Chiaramonte's Deli.

Look no further for your Italian sandwiches, meats, and other goods at this 115-year-old deli.

Chiaramonte’s Deli & Sausage | Est. 1908

Located near Backesto Park is this 115-year-old gem. Salvatore + Alfonsia Chiaramonte immigrated from Sicily and opened up the deli, and it remains as one of the oldest family-owned and operated Italian delis in the US. Stop in for homemade sausages, pasta plates, or made-to-order sandwiches.

A vintage photo of DeLuxe Imperial Dyeing & Cleaning Works in the 1910s.

Check out Deluxe Dye Works in its heyday.

Photo via History San José

Deluxe Dye Works | Est. 1912

This rug cleaning + repair service began with Mr. A. Heymann, who started the business after 28 years of textile experience under master craftsmen in French mills. It has now seen five generations of family and continues to offer everything from bed pillow renovation to fiber protection.

Hammer & Lewis Clothiers | Est. 1920

A Polish immigrant named Sig Hammer established this men’s clothing store that specializes in custom suits, Panama hats, Pendleton items, and more. It originally was located on Market Street for 69 years, but moved to its current location at 19 S. First St. following the Loma Prieta earthquake.

The outside of Greenlee's Bakery.

We can’t get enough of the cinnamon bread from Greenlee’s Bakery.

PHoto via @tonyalbaspizza

Greenlee’s Bakery | Est. 1924

Emmett Greenlee founded the bakery almost 100 years ago, but European pastry chef Norbert Geldner and former Cambrian Bakery owner Rosalina Geldner bought it in 1981. Their combined culinary skills made Greenlee’s brioche-like cinnamon bread its best-seller.

Kogura Co. Gifts | Est. 1928

In the heart of Japantown, you’ll find a gift shop that once sold Japanese appliances to the community in the 1930s. Kogura Co. is one of the oldest stores to stay in its original location in any Japantown in the US. Now, you can find products like rice cookers, Japanese dolls, colorful tea sets, and more.

A customer orders from a worker inside of Peter's Bakery.

There’s nothing like the sweet smell of Peter’s Bakery.

Peter’s Bakery | Est. 1936

This San Jose staple is the oldest family-owned bakery in the Silicon Valley. Founder Tony Peters, born in San Jose in 1907, learned about the bakery business through family members. By 1938, he had two bakeries up and running — one at Delmas + San Carlos streets, and the other on Alum Rock Avenue.

The outside of Mark's Hot Dogs showing a giant orange and the hot dog sign.

Nothing beats a chili dog from Mark’s Hot Dogs.

Photo via @djjohnbeaver

Mark’s Hot Dogs | Est. 1936

Only San Joseans know where you can get a hot dog from an orange. The original owner, Mark Yuram, moved his stand into a decommissioned Giant Orange — once a popular California chain — and the rest was history. Get a taste of nostalgia and order from its classic menu of hot dogs, floats, shakes, and nachos.

The Screen Shop | Est. 1945

Owner Joe Salamida started his wood screen business out of his neighbor’s basement, and since then, it has grown to a full-service operation offering patio doors, aluminum awnings, and more. You can catch a glimpse of its retro sign from Highway 17.


Grab the popular poke plate from Santo Market.

Photo via @foodieswithek

Santo Market | Est. 1946

San Jose born and raised Earl and Helen Santo are the head of this Asian grocery market’s legacy, having kept it in business since Earl’s uncle founded it following the end of WWII. Today, foodies flock to the corner store for its strawberry mochi and fresh poke.

Behind the deli counter of Bertucelli's La Villa Deli.

Try Bertucelli’s ravioli filled with cheeses, meats, or lobster.

Bertucelli’s La Villa Deli | Est. 1947

This deli, known for its handmade ravioli, was founded by married couple Frank + Ann Giacomelli and later bought by Dave and Patty Bertucelli who then ran the business with their family. Indulge in Italian sweets + pick up its not-so-secret menu item, the Chris Combo sandwich.

Neto Sausage Company | Est. 1948

The family business began with Arthur Goncalves’ move into California, and his search for the old-world, traditional linguica he grew up eating. The company still uses his techniques + recipes to produce the highest-quality linguica, and it runs alongside the family-owned Santa Cruz Pasta Factory.

The outside of Kirk's Steakburgers.

Slinging meaty burgers since 1948.

Photo via @iamdavethewave

Kirk’s Steakburgers | Est. 1948

After WWII, Bill Sincere and his wife, Kirk, moved from New York to California and decided to open up a burger joint that served charcoal-grilled patties like the ones they enjoyed back east. After opening up the first location in Palo Alto, word spread among early Silicon Valley developers, and the rest was history.

Olivera Egg Ranch | Est. 1949

Not much is known surrounding the opening of this east side community staple, but for over 75 years, this market has provided affordable eggs — and lots of them. From duck + quail, to balut and chicken eggs with double yolks, you’ll surely find the egg-xact one you need.

Andy’s Pet Shop | Est. 1950

Founded by Andy Camilleri 73 years ago, this business has gone through several owners. It faced a closure in 2009, but survived and moved from its original home on The Alameda to its current location on Bascom Avenue. It sells pet supplies + treats, but has suspended its adoption center operations.

Original Joe’s | Est. 1956

The founders of the original Original Joe’s in San Francisco desired to bring the homestyle Italian American flavors from SF to the South Bay. So much so, for the first few years of operation, they transported SF French bread via Greyhound Bus everyday. It remains an SJ institution in the heart of downtown.

More from SJtoday
We’re thankful to everyone who supported us in bringing relevant local news to San Jose.
Learn about the late San Jose-raised rapper + producer who has a lasting legacy in the great 408, the Bay Area, and the hip-hop world as a whole.
Vicki Chang, also known as “La Vix,” is a professional breakdancer + member of Team USA — and hails from the great 408.
Resolving parking citations in the great 408 will always be a bummer, but hopefully our guide makes it less confusing.
Find local adoption sites, pets currently available, and information on adoption fees.
We’re bringing you some fun facts about San Jose and its history. If you’re a trivia master (or local enthusiast), give these a try.
Tell us you’re from San Jose without telling us you’re from San Jose.
From public artworks to cultural centers, local Black history is all around us.
Ring in the Year of the Dragon.