Recycle Bookstore is a San Jose institution, beginning in 1967 when Pat and Joan Hayes created the store. It started on First Street, moved to San Fernando, and then settled on Santa Clara street for over 20 years. Eric and Cynthia Johnson bought the store from Joan Hayes in October of 1998 and had to move the store to its current location on the Alameda. In early 2004, the Johnsons opened a second location in Campbell
How it happened in 1998 is a bit improbable. Joan Hayes carried half of the loan and the other half was guaranteed by the city, through the hard work of Juan Vigil of the Office of Economic Development in San Jose. At the time, my wife and I (Cynthia and Eric) had no money, no real assets and no experience running a business. We had to borrow money from our families to make it happen. And the city gave the okay, the fools. I wouldn't have given me the money. But I'm very glad they did.