OAKLAND -- The phone rings, then rings again. Baby World manager Monica Meneses picks up.

"Yeah, absolutely!" she tells a customer. "I've got a bunch."

Phone down, and there's a moment of quiet before it rings again. It's the steady hum of a successful business -- and what's more, one that's keeping a family together over a span of thirty years.

"We're a family business in the real sense," said co-owner Cristina Cabello.

Baby World sells strollers, cribs, toys, clothing and other accessories from a flagship store in Temescal, distinctive for its muraled exterior, which loudly proclaims, "We deliver everything but the baby." The store is celebrating 30 years Saturday with a day of raffles and discounts for customers.

The store has managed to weather the ups and downs of the economy, as well as site changes. It was started by Cabello and her sister Luz Delaveau as a shop selling both new and resale goods from a storefront on College Avenue. After the deadly Oakland firestorm of 1991, the shop found itself without hand-me-downs to sell and changed direction, eventually opening a second store on Piedmont Avenue before moving to Telegraph Avenue in 2005. Cabello and Delaveau later opened branches in San Bruno and San Rafael.

But all along, it's stayed in the family. The sisters, along with their husbands Aldo Cabello and Alex Meneses, still run it -- and the next generation is getting into it, too. The manager of the Telegraph Avenue store is Delaveau's daughter.


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"I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to be the next generation," Meneses said.

Meneses thinks customers have stayed with Baby World over the years because of the customer service and the wide range they offer. People can come test drive a stroller and have a new car seat installed, or just stop by for a package of baby wipes.

"We really take the time to know our customer," Meneses said.

It's that kind of personalized service that makes people take the time to visit the store in person and buy there -- although Cabello said some people come in and browse but buy online. She added that the prices reflect the store's commitment to buying items made in Europe and the United States, something customers say they want even though they may balk at the price.

"They get disappointed," she said.

Meneses said she understands, but it still makes it hard when people complain about in-store pricing.

"I feel that people don't really understand what they're saying to us," she said.

But enough people do understand that the store has been a dedicated customer base of families looking for higher end equipment and clothing. That's why Cabello is offering everything in the store on sale from 10 percent up at the anniversary event -- even big-ticket items. Company representatives will be stopping by to demonstrate new products and the store is raffling off prizes, with tickets for anyone who comes by and even more tickets for purchases

But the celebration is just for one day, and, for the family, hopefully only one more milestone along the way. Cabello says there are no plans to stop yet.

"I would like to say that, at least twenty more years, that's for sure," Cabello said.

IF YOU GO
What: Baby World's 30th anniversary celebration
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday
Where: 4400 Telegraph Ave., Oakland