ANTIOCH -- Much like Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, Judy Mori and Gina Zbacnik can get you ready for the ball. Or a prom, fancy cruise, wedding or ...
In fact, as owners of Tux of Class, the mom-and-daughter pair has been doing just that for 30 years now.
Mori and first partner Fran Barton opened in 1984 because they saw a need for a formal wear shop.
After six years, Barton retired and in stepped Gina, Mori's daughter.
"We are amazed and very grateful to be in business for 30 years," Zbacnik said.
For the first 20 years, the pair focused on tuxedos and accessories, and then ventured into prom and evening gowns.
"We all grew up here, and it seemed the girls were always going out of town (to shop)," Zbacnik said. "So, I thought we could do it here."
Other than that, the cozy shop has remained humble and steady with their focus. No big changes, especially when it comes to what Zbacnik calls their "superior customer service."
And, customers agree.
"We went there to rent my son's senior ball tux," said Suzy Lee. "There must have been at least 20 other kids the in the store and I thought 'this is going to take forever.' I was so impressed how quickly and efficiently they took care of us."
Around the same time Tux of Class opened its doors, Rhondi Harris-Hernand was about to walk down the aisle. "They are wonderful," she said. "They took care of my wedding party. I couldn't have asked for better service. It's a wonderful place to do business."
Shop manager Michelle Kiesz was 19 when she was hired. After 12 years, Kiesz is still happy with her job. "They are the most kind and generous people I have ever met. When I started there, I just thought that I was going to work for two bosses but it ended up being a family I cherish."
She added, and others have concurred, that Mori and Zbacnik give "so much to this community" -- from nonprofit drives to helping area high schools.
Mori is amazed that 30 years later, they are still around and making a difference to so many. "I never would've believed it," she said.
Zbacnik said there are plenty of positives to running Tux of Class.
"The best part of this (job) is finding the perfect dress and tux for a wedding or prom and seeing them so excited."
After three decades of serving guests, there are plenty of good memories with most stemming from weddings.
She said it is extra special to be part of a wedding, then years later help "their son or daughter for a prom, then even their wedding."
Both mother and daughter have strong roots in East County with Mori graduating from Antioch High in 1963 and Gina in 1985.
And, for the last 30 years, they've helped their fellow Panthers, as well as Freedom and Heritage high schools, make special memories too.
"We have always supported the high schools," Zbacnik said, emphasizing their importance.
For more information, call 925-757-5020. Tux of Class is at 43 E. 18th St. in Antioch.
Reach Trine Gallegos at TrineG@att.net.