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Sustaining Business Growth: Strategies for long-term success in Taft

Local business owner opens up about strategies that have kept his establishment thriving through both good and bad periods
Posted at 3:59 PM, Feb 21, 2024

  • Taft has had several businesses close after a brief run due to a small population and issues with jobs. But Jo's Family Restaurant is one place that has longevity.
  • Restaurant Owner Joe Fuller says it's key that a business in Taft opens early and stays open late.


Walking around many neighborhoods in Taft, you can't help but notice empty or abandoned buildings. Whatever the reason for the demise of someone's dream, many owners remain standing, even when nearby places had to close down.

“In this vacant lot for a good little while there was a triple a business, yeah right where that car is, long right through there,” says Joe Fuller.

Neighborhood News Reporter Raquel Calo talking with restaurant owner Joe Fuller
Neighborhood News Reporter Raquel Calo talking with restaurant owner Joe Fuller

Joe Fuller the owner of Jo's Family restaurant says many businesses have vanished due to the small population in Taft, and the ever-reducing oil revenue, from environmental laws impacting businesses.

“This is an oil town so whenever we lose our main ingredient to our livelihood it hurts” continues Joe Fuller.

Not only did it hurt the business but the residents as well.

“We don’t have triple a so somebody like me I travel a lot, I depend on triple A to be there, well here in Taft we have to wait for someone to come from Bakersfield because of it,” says Taft resident Todd Seipel.

Raquel interviewing Todd Seipel, a Taft resident
Raquel interviewing Todd Seipel, a Taft resident

Fuller says his tip for running a business is to be an owner who's dedicated to coming early or staying late. It's a philosophy that's kept his doors open for more than 50 years. He says it's unfortunate that so many businesses failed so quickly, but despite that, he says residents are committed to supporting local shops.

“Local people are still trying to keep Taft aglow you might say,” says Fuller.

If you are interested in starting up a local business on the west side, you can head to the Taft Chamber of Commerce at

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