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Galletti & Sons: Longtime Martinez Company Closes Up Shop

The concrete construction business firm has auctioned off its belongings after filing for bankruptcy

It's the end of an era at 55 Howe Road.

Galletti & Sons has closed up its operations.

The well-known Martinez firm, which at one time employed 250 people, filed for bankruptcy in September.

It's been auctioning off its assets and is now preparing to sell the building it owns on Howe Road.

On Wednesday afternoon, the only person in the office was Steve Widman, the company's former controller who is now working for the bankruptcy trustee. He was surrounded by a few pieces of furniture and almost nothing else.

"It's very hard. It's very sad that this place has turned into this," he said.

The company was formed in 1949 by the Galletti patriarch. The company was renamed Galletti & Sons in 1974 after the three sons -- John, George and Robert -- joined the business.

The company has been at its Howe Road location since 1986. Before that, it was located in a building adjacent to the current property.

The firm specialized in concrete placement and finishing. They worked on residential, commercial and industrial projects.

Widman said in the 1990s California law made it easier for homeowners to sue contractors, so the Galletti sons got out of that end of the business and focused on schools, hospitals and other commercial and industrial ventures.

As the housing market tanked the past six years, many larger residential companies switched over to the commercial and industrial part of the industry. They put in low bids and got the work. Galletti & Sons simply couldn't compete.

"You can only cut so much," said Widman, who worked for the Martinez company for 16 years.

When the company went bankrupt, 95 employees lost their jobs and Martinez lost a landmark company.

"The family -- they're great people. They were a lot of fun to work for," said Widman.

Elaine Magee December 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM
And many other businesses will follow. Very very sad that California (business un-friendly) laws and politics are driving people and businesses away.
Jed December 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
California is SO unfriendly to businesses and private individuals it's pathetic! The only word our government(s) seem to know it TAX. Granted, a few creative municipalities learned a few other words that mean the same thing; FEE, BOND, REVENUE ENHANCEMENT, etc. Where is the surprise in this story? It's sad so many people lose their jobs, but isn't it interesting that our politicians never do (and keep voting THEMSELVES raises in pay and more benefits). I closed my business several years ago when I could see things were tanking. I bought a house in Oregon ..... SEE YA, California!

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