Over 100 Years in San Diego | Fornaca-Fenelli Family | Frank Motors
Generations of Service from Frank Motors
Frank Motors has special reason to celebrate. The
Fornaca family commemorates over 100 years, as one of San Diego's
oldest continuously operated family businesses. It's a story of hard
work, perseverance and caring for the community.
In 1912, after arriving from Italy, Mario Fornaca opened the doors to
his bakery in San Diego with the aroma of fresh baked bread. His sons
Frank and Felice and his daughter Louisa grew the Fornaca bakery from
humble beginnings to the
largest in San Diego.
In 1965, the Frank and
expanded their business by opening Frank Lincoln Mercury and shortly
thereafter, Frank Toyota,
both located in National City. Through the
years they added Hyundai, Scion, Equus and now
Subaru. The business has
been passed on to the next generations with sons Jim Fornaca, Ron
Fornaca and son-in-law Gary Fenelli running the dealerships.
Today, up to seven family members work on a daily basis at the
Frank Motors Group with the same commitment to customer care as Mario
Fornaca established 100 years ago. The Fornaca family is proud to
support the community and thanks all of you for your business over the
1912 Mario Fornaca purchases a French Bread Bakery in San
1910-1920 Mario and Maria Fornaca have 3
children; Louisa, Felice and Frank Fornaca.
They build their home behind the bakery.
1930s During the depression, the bakery is near foreclosure.
With the sheriff ready to padlock the doors, the delivery drivers
collect enough money to bring the account up to date.
1940s During WW II, workers are scarce. Mario hires
workers from Mexico. He houses the employees and makes sure their needs
are met. After the war, Mario sponsors the employees for US
citizenship, changing their futures forever. The employees and 2
generations afterwards worked for the bakery.
1950s Mario sells bakery to sons Frank and Felice who change
the name to Town Talk Baking Co. The bakery begins making bread for
FedMart Dept. stores, (run by future Price Club owners)
1965 After a disappointing visit to a car dealership, the
Fornaca's believe they can better manage one and pursue purchasing a
In the fall of 1965,
they open Frank Lincoln-Mercury and Frank Toyota at 1200 National City
1973-1978 In 1973, the third generation of
Fornaca's begin working in the Fornaca bakery and at Frank Motors.
In 1978, the bakery changes their name to Holsum
Baking Company of California, and Bohemian Hearth Bread is launched and
is their most successful product line ever.
1986 Frank Motors Group continues to grow with the purchase
and opening of Frank Hyundai.
1997 Due to changes
in Ford's marketing plan, Ford buys back the Lincoln Mercury franchise.
4th generation family members start working in the
1997 Marco Fenelli
2000 Joel Fornaca
2003 Monica Fenelli
2011 Marianna Fenelli Khouri
2003 In May, Frank Scion opens for business as a division of
the Toyota franchise. Ground breaking ceremony for expansion of Frank
Toyota. A 16,000 sq. ft. addition is designed for the
2003 3rd Generation purchases Fornaca,
Inc., of which Frank Motors Group is the principal business, continuing
the Fornaca family business legacy in San Diego.
2011 to present Frank Subaru is added as the latest franchise to the
Frank Motors Group, at a remodeled facility located at 2940 National
City Blvd. The dealerships start the Centennial celebration of 100 years
of Fornaca family business in San Diego.