Merced County Times Newspaper
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Marchini family opens Joe’s Premium Car Wash in Chowchilla


For generations, the Marchini family name has been synonymous with farming in Le Grand. 

Family members started with tomatoes in the 1920s, went into almonds, and then radicchio. Today, J. Marchini Farms — still based in Le Grand — ships produce all over the world and has operations from Watsonville to Mexico. 

However, the heads of the family — Joe and Julie Marchini — have semi-retired and moved to a new home in nearby Chowchilla, just down the street from their daughter’s home. 

So Joe Marchini was looking for something to do in town. That’s when he noticed, there wasn’t really a high quality car wash in sight. 

“I decided, hey, you know, I can’t go out in the field anymore, so maybe I can drive down to this car wash and hopefully it will turn into some money, I hope,” he said on Monday during the official groundbreaking ceremony for Joe’s Premium Car Wash. 

The site is located near the Save Mart Shopping Center on E. Robertson Boulevard (Ave. 26) and Genoa Lake Road. It’s expected to be up and running in only a few months. 

“I’m real excited,” Marchini said. “I have all my family here with me, but the real owners are the great grandkids. I took care of the grandkids, and now we are taking care of the great grandkids. We got nine of those. But I gotta tell you, it’s also to make sure I can go to a place where I can work.”

The ceremony included Madera County Supervisor David Rogers, Chowchilla Mayor Diana Palmer and a very pleased City Administrator Rod Pruett. 

“We started this project only in January, and it’s been a fast turnaround,” Pruett told the crowd that gathered. “As a city, we put programs in place so that hopefully we can expedite the process and get businesses up and running as quickly as possible.”

He added, “I know Mark Hamilton, our community and economic development director, has worked closely with Joe’s team and things have gone smoothly. Without Mark’s hard work, this wouldn’t have been possible.” 

Some Mercedians may recognize the name Mark Hamilton. He worked several years for the City of Merced as the housing program supervisor but left in late 2019 for a top post in Chowchilla. 

Joe and Julie Marchini were surrounded by happy family members during the ceremony on Monday. 

“I’m a farmer, my father is a farmer, but at the end of the day, my father loves a clean vehicle I can tell you that,” said Jeff Marchini, Joe’s son. 

The operation will be managed by Ronnie Chavira, and old family friend who first met Joe some 25 years ago as a worker at DeAngelo’s Restaurant in Merced. 

Ronnie Chavira and Julie and Joe Marchini.


The Marchini clan of Le Grand and Chowchilla pose for a photo before the official groundbreaking ceremony.
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