Showing off: Complete Athlete running with the big dogs

Published 12:06 am Friday, September 20, 2019

PORT NECHES — The owners of Complete Athlete in Port Neches really want to show off their store and are hoping the weather cooperates for an open house on Saturday.

If so, the event will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the business, 1401 Magnolia Ave. The celebration will include music, hot dogs, balloons, a chance to win door prizes and some unveiling of new merchandise.

The owners will make an announcement on their Facebook page and let fans know the final plan but that also means patrons are welcome anytime from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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The history and shop local

Complete Athlete continues to be a mom and pop style store with local owners Jessie Garcia, his wife Carrie Queen Garcia and business partner David Cozad.

The trio officially took ownership in February, but Jesse Garcia has spent a good portion of his life at the athletic store.

Carrie explained that Jesse worked there in high school, then moved on to a different job as they began their family life and began having children.

Rosie Ramos established the business in 1978 and later sold it to Bill Monroe, who sold it to the Garcia’s.

The business is primarily a sporting goods outlet that provides items for all of the local independent school districts as well as some in Louisiana, Houston and in the past, Galveston.

“We also do screen printing, so there’s a lot of T-shirts but it’s not just school athletics, we do reunions, class reunions and more,” Carrie said.

They have earned the trust and business of local businesses, which, to the Garcia’s, means a lot.

“This was a big leap of faith,” she said. “My husband has been doing this almost all of his life. His heart is here and he still gets excited to get up and go to work.”

Jesse agreed, elaborating on what he loves about the business.

“Just being part of the community, the surroundings and the people in the area,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for quite some time and we have great relationships with the coaches and families being part of the community.”

But a mom-and-pop store doing business against big retail and even internet sales can be tough, yet Complete Athlete stays competitive.

“I think it’s our service,” he said.

He feels many customers like to do business locally and talk face-to-face as opposed to ordering on the phone or online.

“And without a doubt that keeps us ahead of the game,” he said.

And shopping local keeps the money in the community, putting food on the tables of local business owners.