January 3: “I can’t believe it’s been five years” says store owner James Stokes, “things were really rough for those first two and a half years, but we never lost our ‘personal touch’, and building a relationship with the community, and we really built up a loyal customer base here in Mojave”. Stoken’s, a Mojave landmark, has been recently awarded “Business of the Year” by the Mojave Chamber of Commerce, and ranked number 1 on Yelp, and has seen business steadily expand since emerging from the ashes of the financial crisis in 2009. “It’s amazing what you can achieve with the right people, and passion, and we have a great staff that is passionate about quality and preserving that relationship with our customers. Stokens, located one block east of Sierra highway on Belshaw Street, has become the central meeting place in Mojave for community discussion and social gatherings. Stokes has built up an especially loyal relationship among workers from the airport and renewable energy companies, whom Stokes credits with keeping him afloat during the rough times. “We try to get to know each of our customers who come in the shop, and we ask what they need and what they want to see.”
Local residents held their breath in 2009 when Jame Stokes purchased the old library, an historic Mojave landmark. But Stoken’s was universally acclaimed when he preserved the classic ambiance of the building while serving quality food and paying homage to Mojave’s history. Stoken’s, generally known for its high quality sandwiches and natural ingredients, has become a mainstay of motorists throughout southern California. “We get a lot of the traffic between L.A. and Mammoth,” cites Stokes, “and we want people to learn a little about Mojave while they’re here.” Stokes, a local job creator with five full-time employees, sees opportunity in Mojave. “We want to keep growing, responsibly, with the community – and we think there’s a lot of potential in this town.”
The Mojave Foundation celebrates Stoken’s success, and their entrepreneurial zeal. We appreciate Stoke’s commitment to the community – demonstrating that there is a market for high-quality service and offering to share that success with other aspiring entrepreneurs. We wish James and Leigh and his staff even more success in 2014.