Community Unity Featured Business: Mid Coast Mower and Saw

Mid Coast Mower and Saw staff from left to right, Rick, Margaret, Chris, Morgan and Ashley in the front. Mid Coast Mower has been in Atascadero serving the North County for nearly three decades. (Photo by Adriana Novack)

After a recent Atascadero City Council meeting tackled the subject of weed abatement notices on private property, upping the fees for the few residents who use the municipal contractor as their de facto gardener, there may be more customers stopping in at Mid Coast Mower and Saw.

“We’re very much a need-based business,” said Margaret Wicks, co-owner of the family enterprise now celebrating 28 years in their shop at 8710 El Camino Real in Atascadero. Founded in November 1990 by Rick Wicks, the business spent its first decade as a one-man-shop before Margaret was able to come aboard full-time and their children grew into young adults, she said.

In this case, adds Wicks, need-based means the business is a lot like operating a farm. A good rain year causes a need for their products.

Get a wet winter, or do your trimming too early in the season and there will be plenty of work to do both for customers and in the shop. Which is fine on Mid Coast Mower and Saw’s end because, this is a working person’s business,” but there’s no sense in the public working harder than they need.

The weather year 2018-2019 is still up in the air, but she recalls that one of their busiest seasons witnessed 55 of the large riding-mowers used mainly for large property perimeters, arrive in shipping crates from the manufacturer assembled on their sales floor and carted out the door.

Although you could theoretically drive one of their products off the lot like a dealership, Wicks says they’re not keen on high-pressure sales tactics. “We really pride ourselves on taking the time to find out what the customer needs and how quickly they are trying to accomplish that need,” she said.

The usual equation, time equals money can be supplemented here with power. In this case mostly gasoline-fueled small engines. Want it done fast, spend more for a big machine. Otherwise one of the five folks who might be working at the store on a given day could help in more practical ways such as repairing equipment that’s spent too long in a corner of the garage — Rick started out as an apprentice mechanic in 1978 — or special ordering parts and tools.

As an aside Wicks notes that “California Gas,” is no friend of the two-stroke engine. They’re stocking up on the fuel alternatives, such as the non-ethanol fuel and stabilized fuel mixture now if you’re running low.

And while some contractors get their equipment going and stock up in advance, Wick said most of their business by far is still residential property owners.

No rush, but, “we’re here when you need us,” she said.

Mid Coast Mower and Saw is open six days a week the same location on El Camino Real they’ve been in for nearly three decades now, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and shortened hours on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 805-466-2323.


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