Pixel Tracker

Friday, March 22 , 2019, 2:23 pm | A Few Clouds 61º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics Changes Hands, But Remains All In the Family

Company founder Fred Barbaria sells business to son Jason in generational shift

The answers to signage questions seemed to materialize before others had time to process them.

Sitting in the president’s office of Santa Barbara Signs & Graphics last week, Fred Barbaria and his son, Jason, flawlessly fielded questions from an employee relaying answers to customers out front.

No sign request or job appeared beyond their knowledge, or the realm of possibility.

It makes sense, considering the elder Barbaria would have owned the business at 3019 State St. for 16 years next month.

He narrowly missed that milestone when the company became Jason’s on Jan. 1.

Fred, 66, is looking forward to retirement and other business ventures, while his son is excited to keep the business in the family.

“I’ll keep my hand in something,” said Fred, who has started working part time at the shop in the mornings. “I’m ready to do something else. It’s time to do something else.”

Fred had been planning to sell the business for about a year, which ended up being how much time Jason, 27, needed to think about buying it.

He now co-owns the business with his wife, Tristin Tracy.

“It would be nice to keep it a family business,” said Jason, who was working in sales and marketing before making the switch late last year.

It won’t be the first time Jason has worked at the store, however. He had a couple of stints there during the summers when he was in college and two full years after graduating from UC Santa Cruz.

Fred’s other sons — one older than Jason and the other Jason’s younger twin — have also spent some time behind the counter and in the sign-making business.

Jason hopes to continue growing the business, which predominantly handles large-format printing, tradeshow displays and larger projects.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Everyday it’s something different.”

The Barbarias have a loyal customer base, with most new customers from referrals. This year will be the 10th time the company has sponsored and provided signs for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

With his shop in good hands, Fred said he and his wife of nearly 31 years, Cheryl, plan to relax and travel before he finds another business venture.

“I think it’d be hard for someone to come in who doesn’t know the business at all,” he said. “It’s been a smooth transition so far.”

“It’s been a hostile takeover,” his son joked.

Fred said he might get back into photography, when he can, hopefully, finagle some prints from his former employer.

“Always welcome,” Jason said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

Email
I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Patricia Griffin
Patricia Griffin
"I am very hands on and feel that each transaction is special and different. My clients goals are foremost in what I do to bring about a successful transaction and I maintain relationships for many years."

Full Profile >