Take 5 is a meetup with a local entrepreneur.
It would not be much of a stretch to describe Joe Mann as a Yakima institution.
His Ron’s Coin and Collectibles shop on North Third Street is a go-to place for comic book aficionados, sports card collectors, board and card gamers, numismatists and others drawn to the eclectic mix of merchandise in the store. Mann started working at the store as a 15-year-old, and he eventually bought out the owner.
Mann also owns various properties in the downtown area and is one of the city’s biggest cheerleaders, having led the push to get Yakima named an “All America City” in 2015, the second time the city had been so honored by the National Civic League.
Born and raised in Yakima, Mann, 58, lives in the city with his wife, Kathy, son John Paul and daughter Emily. He employs three people at Ron’s, noting that his employees have been there for more than 20 years.
When did you decide that you wanted to be a business owner?
When I had my first job at age 12, with a Yakima Herald-Republic newspaper route. It taught me business, money management and customer service. I learned that I wanted my own business, and I went to work full-time the day after graduating from high school.
Why did you choose your particular field?
I love collecting and all sorts of collectibles, and hunting for all sorts of cool, neat collectibles. I went to work at Ron’s at the age of 15 in 1975, and bought Ron Chott out in 1989.
How did you become one of the more vocal advocates for Yakima and its downtown?
Around the age of 20, I started attending Downtown Association of Yakima meetings and saw change was taking place. A lot of time it is a slow process, but change was happening. I also learned that a few people working toward the same outcome can make a change. I liked that. So now, I would love to see the community and downtown be the best it can be. I keep working and putting time in to try and help Yakima continue to be a better place to live, work and play.
If you could go back and meet your younger self, what advice would you give him?
If I could go back and give myself advice, I would say do a little more each day; change can happen. Find like-minded people and work toward that goal or goals. And be more aggressive and fight for what you believe in.
Are you a Marvel or DC fan?
I think I am more of a Marvel fan. I like the Marvel superheroes better. But I love both Marvel and DC’s early books, and comics in the 1930s and 1940s are just plain cool. The artwork, the history, the feel and smell is great. Early paper collectibles are just cool.
If you are a business owner who would like to be featured in Take 5, contact Donald W. Meyers at 509-577-7748 or email@example.com. Twitter: @donaldwmeyers.