Just down half a block from F Street on South Third Avenue is one of Oakdale’s newest businesses, Alvarez Insurance Service. Behind the name are two amiable faces: Guadalupe Alvarez and Kimberley Munoz.
“We have insurance, public notary, and registration services,” Alvarez detailed, “and we’re bilingual and biliterate.”
The reason that her second point is especially important is why she decided to open up in Oakdale in the first place. Though there are a few similar brokerages in Oakdale, she noticed that a lot of local residents, especially the Hispanic community, had to go out of town to get these services. So, Alvarez decided to bring her business here.
Before she became interested in insurance, Alvarez was actually studying medicine.
“Before I had my first child, I was in the medical field. I became a mom and realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do,” she explained.
She then decided to try out some other options. After applying to a few jobs and getting all of them, she opted for insurance. Though she was intimidated by the new position for the first week, with all that there was to learn, she quickly got over any fears.
“It’s challenging at first,” Alvarez admitted, “but I’ve always been that type of person that’s up for a challenge.”
In January of this year, she was finally able to open up her own insurance company.
“So here I am,” she added, “this is my own thing, and I can finally say ‘It’s me, I’m representing me.’”
Alvarez was eager to start her own business as she started to get to know the customers. She realized in bigger companies, the communication may get muddled and misunderstood. Now, she’s excited to make sure that anyone who comes in can feel secure with her services.
“We like to know what we’re sending our customers with,” she said simply. “So when it comes to coverages or their insurance, we explain to them what liability is and what full coverage is.”
Alvarez believes her candor and willingness to sit down and explain what’s going on is what is bringing customers back. Moreover, this natural affability is definitely what is needed after coronavirus shutdowns. Alvarez Insurance Services opened just a few months before the mandatory lockdown, so they are just returning to the scene, eager for new customers.
“I get to interact with lots of people and I enjoy interacting with the community. I get to even change the person’s day, just a smile can change their day and I’ve seen that,” she shared. “Everyone has a different origin, where they come from. When they get into detail it’s nice, I can bond with my customers.”
She is hoping to soon be able to reach out and do some meet and greets around town once coronavirus concerns are alleviated.
As for services, Alvarez is working out pricing. Most come at a flat rate, but she is hoping to initiate a coupon-referral service so that customers who need a bit of a discount can try and opt for one. For a free quote or more information, call Alvarez Insurance Services at 209-900-3344 or stop by their office at 132 S. Third Ave., right in the downtown area.