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Los Gatos' Shafer's Income Tax & Real Estate In Business For 50 Years

This is an occasional series profiling local business owners.

Shafer's Income Tax & Real Estate has been in business in Los Gatos for more than 50 years. Patch business listing photos.
Shafer's Income Tax & Real Estate has been in business in Los Gatos for more than 50 years. Patch business listing photos.
Los Gatos Patch loves supporting local businesses and we're launching an occasional series profiling homegrown entrepreneurs. To submit your business, fill out this online form. 

Business name: Shafer's Income Tax & Real Estate, 612 University Ave., in Los Gatos

What is your business known for? Residential home sales. Broker since 1982. Notary services since 1987. Income tax preparation, enrolled agent.

When and how did your business get started? My parents, the late Tom Shafer, Sr. and my mother Eleanor Shafer (now retired), opened in a small office across from the Los Gatos Theater in September, 1962 (we have a copy of original business license). We spent six years in our first location, moved to another for six years on Village Lane, and for the last 40 years we have been at 612 University (since May, 1974). I continued the business after my father's death in January, 1986.

What's something interesting about your business your customers might not know? We survived the earthquake in 1989, but we had to put up a new building after the old one was deemed too damaged. I went to school in Los Gatos, from Nursery School on Lyndon Ave, Blossom Hill Elementary, Fisher, and Los Gatos High, then West Valley College and San Jose State University. One of my projects is rasing funds for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. Over the past 13 years, I've raised over $16,000 to help burned children, raised from clients, friends, and family. I've been helping a client behind the scenes with entries in the Tournament of Roses Parades in Pasadena in 2009, 2010, and 2013, and I ended up being the front seat passenger in an antique four-seater bus in the 2010 Parade! For the Los Gatos Christmas Parade, I've had my 1962 Studebaker pickup or other old vehicles entered every year since 1992. Few businesses have had the good fortune of serving for 51-plus years of longevity in Town. Thank you, Los Gatos!

Why did you choose the town you did to open your business? My parents came to Los Gatos when I was a small child, and we were all born in the East Coast. We came West in 1961 and lived for a short while in Southern California. My parents visited friends in Los Gatos and fell in love with the town. My father opened his first office here by buying three desks and taking on a $50-a-month lease in a big storefront building that had been recently vacated. He sublet some desk space to get started.

For more information: 408-354-3320, or twshafer@aol.com  

Submitted By: Tom Shafer, Jr., second-generation owner


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Marilyn Leonard January 14, 2014 at 05:59 PM
It's nice to see a small family business continuing and thriving in Los Gatos.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz January 14, 2014 at 07:15 PM
Absolutely! Especially when so many stores have had 2 close! CONGRATS!

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