Home>Articles>Leaving California Interview With Mark Snyder: ‘Is Sacramento and California in a Post-Hope Period?’

William Glen logo. (Photo: William Glen)

Leaving California Interview With Mark Snyder: ‘Is Sacramento and California in a Post-Hope Period?’

Californians who moved to greener pastures, Part lX

By Katy Grimes, July 26, 2021 2:22 am

What could possibly cause a native Sacramento resident with a thriving business, beautiful home, and many local friends and family, to close the business, sell his home and move to Texas?

Mark Snyder is the owner of William Glen, “Sacramento’s best Kitchen and Gift store. Family owned and operated since 1963!” Snyder is the son of the original co-founder Bill Snyder, who together with Glen Forbes opened a small 500 square foot decorator studio in 1963.

Mark Snyder said in a Globe interview that they grew the business into a 50,000 square foot beautiful, high quality home goods emporium, “a collection of family owned and operated stores that focus on quality, value and style. From Christmas to Kitchen, we excel.”

Known over the years for beautiful gifts (Lalique crystal), high-end yet practical kitchen cookware, bridal registry, holiday collectables and trimmings, electrical appliances, kitchen linens, and much more, William Glen was the go-to home goods emporium in the region.

Not long after Bill Snyder passed away in 2010, Mark Snyder and his sister Amy Guthrie found themselves in a snafu with Snyder’s spouse. The original location eventually closed and the siblings reopened William Glen in a new Sacramento location, which remained a brick and mortar store until February 2020, when Gov. Gavin Newsom locked down the state over the coronavirus.

William Glen cookware. (Photo: William Glen)

Snyder and Guthrie had also opened a successful sister store, Christmas & Company and Chef’s Mercantile in Old Sacramento in 2010 following their father’s death. Guthrie then opened her own home staging business.

Snyder has also had an online store for 16 years, which he said never overtook the physical store sales. But four years ago Snyder started to notice an uptick in online sales.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide lockdown of all “non-essential” businesses in March 2020, Snyder said he was forced to lay off all of his employees. Snyder went to the Old Sacramento store daily, and ended up doing the daily online order fulfillment, which grew significantly.

But Mark Snyder has been vocal about the huge increase in crime, theft and shoplifting, vandalism, homeless drug addicts, violence and harassment to his stores as well as to all of the Old Sacramento merchants. “Old Town is the homeless freeway,” Snyder said. “We’ve been here fighting this fight for 11 years with other merchants.”

“It’s been interesting watching the degradation of life in Old Sacramento, Sacramento and the State of California,” Snyder said, who was born and raised in Sacramento. “It’s just become hopeless. Is Sacramento and California in a post-hope period?” he asked. “It is when you live in a one-party state.”

Snyder noted, “Private industry and churches are the most effective at dealing with them [homeless].” The Globe had a lengthy discussion with him about the many private organizations in Sacramento successful with dealing with the drug and mental health issues the homeless suffer, including Loaves and Fishes, which Snyder said his father helped support for decades.

Snyder says he’s constantly battling broken bottles, drug paraphernalia, localized fires, bicycle gangs, motorcycle gangs, and drug addicted homeless vagrants ravaging the city and Old Sacramento. Snyder said the Sacramento Downtown Partnership has been working tirelessly to assist businesses, and trying to keep downtown clean and safe, but to no avail. The downtown homeless epidemic is bigger than even pro-business groups, which need City Council support.

And it’s only gotten worse, not better, which led to Snyder making the decision to leave California.

Snyder is moving to Weatherford, Texas, just outside of Fort Worth, population 37,000. He already opened a 6,000 square foot fulfillment center there.

“Do I stay and fight? How long do I put off my dreams and what matters?” Snyder asked. “I’d pay higher taxes if we got more for our high taxes – like good schools and highways. But not in Sacramento or California.”

“Texas has a part time Legislature,” Snyder noted. “California has the full time Legislature, as well as too many laws. We need to get back in California to fewer laws and part time lawmakers. And anything they do with preferential treatment: LGBT, race, gender, sex, needs to stop. No preferential treatment.” Notably Mark Snyder is openly gay, and a Conservative Republican, so he knows what he is talking about.

As for his own native city of Sacramento, Snyder said, “City Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela doesn’t realize just what the entrepreneurs have to do to keep it together,” especially in the face of the governor’s lockdowns, draconian local and state regulations, the anti-police movement, and the City Council and Mayor, totally ineffective in dealing with the homeless, he explained.

“Katie Valenzuela sees herself as the AOC of the West Coast – as if she cares about workers,” Snyder added.

These are quality of life issues, Snyder said. “We usually see 20% local and 80% tourist clientele,” Snyder said. “Last year it was zero tourists.” He said if tourists have to deal with the drug addled homeless vagrants in Old Town Sacramento, “it is off-putting to our customers.”

“The silencing of conservatives, especially here in California, is just terrible,” Snyder said. “The Republican Party has become the Party of the worker and the working class. But the California GOP needs to be focused on fighting the culture war, especially in California.”

Snyder described how careful Californians have to be in their daily speech. “We are being targeted and made to feel uncomfortable. It’s the intimidation factor,” he said.

Snyder has many Eastern European friends who have been warning of “California’s goose-stepping march toward Communism.”

“How do we educate the young?” he asked. “The totalitarianism is on the left, entirely. The left has to put everyone in a box and pit them against each other.”

Snyder described “the sociopolitical shift in our country when people are moving where they are alike.”

“We as Conservatives build to leave something to our families and communities,” Snyder said. “The disregard for independent business communities and companies – they think we’ll always be here.”

“Capitalism is a machine with a heart,” Mark Snyder said. “Leftism is a steam roller.”


Read all of the Globe’s Leaving California articles here.

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13 thoughts on “Leaving California Interview With Mark Snyder: ‘Is Sacramento and California in a Post-Hope Period?’

  1. “The left has to put everyone in a box and pit them against each other.”
    It’s sad and frustrating that a businessman as smart and productive as Mark Snyder has to take himself and his business savvy elsewhere because of what he has had to endure in California —– through no fault of his own. This situation is upside-down and backward and has become completely unacceptable because of the culture of corruption led by the Democrat politicians in this state.
    Obviously we desperately need to head in the opposite direction in this state and with any luck the U-turn will begin with recalling Newsom and electing a new governor.

    1. “…the culture of corruption led by the Democrat politicians in this state.”

      Respectfully, it would be just as bad if the Republicans were in office.

      We’ve maintained for decades that it’s not a Democrat thing nor a Republican thing. Rather, it’s a systemic thing.

      It’s brought about by too many people competing for too few resources, whether we’re talking about power, water, fuel, housing, open spaces, or what have you. It’s also brought about by a lack of long term planning in favour of pandering to the short term and feel-good faux issues of political correctness and diversity.

      And both sides – Democrat and Republican – during the past, oh, fifty years or so are guilty of having let things slide.

      And consider the levels of complexity that reveal themselves as efforts are made to do the least little thing to save the sinking ship. Endless environmental, NIMBY and rent-seeking lawsuits, regulations and legislations add inflated costs and delays to the simplest of undertakings.

      Consider for example that it doesn’t take a billion dollars to lay a mile of train track. Or at least it shouldn’t. And that the SNFC, the French TGV folks, offered to run the high speed rail right up the I-5 and into SF for only 35 billion, and then to run it at a profit. And that, in part, they pulled out when they became aware of the legal obstacles that would lead to cost overruns. (And doubtless they remain relieve that they didn’t get approvals to start the project.) And that was a *Republican* administration (technically anyway).

      Or how about something as simple and necessary as fixing the dams and reservoirs. Or actually completing the third stage of the Water Project. It’s obvious to all but the most dim-witted or fanatical that it’s needed. That’s been going on back and forth for the last 40 years or so, maybe even longer, Democrat or Republican regardless. So why hasn’t it been done?

      We, anybody who’s reading this, can go on and on here. All this is straight out of Tainter. It’s a collapse scenario that only requires a good kick in the form of a Black Swan Event to bring on the end-game where all the interlocking complexities paralyze corrective actions.

      Earthquakes and tidal waves anybody? EMP attack? Nuke in a L.A./Long Beach harbour?

      And that’s not something that all the factions – Democrat, Republican, Union, Left, Right, Ethnic, Minority or what have you – seem to understand. Or are really, truly wishing to consider. Too hard.

      It’s easier to prance around and point and jeer at each other than, acting out when you don’t get your own way, that truly act with the wisdom of an adult.

      Just a thought.


      *And yes, I like the idea of being able to get on a train in L.A. and get off in downtown SF two hours later. Who wouldn’t? No airports, TSA and all that.

      1. VICB3, no, it’s the fault of the Dems. You stated, “Respectfully, it would be just as bad if the Republicans were in office.” That is wishful thinking on your part…..taking the word IF and making a fact out of it.

        It is past time for the Dems to seriously take responsibility for seriously damaging our once beautiful state to the extent they have done and stop blaming Republicans too.

  2. I can identify, because we own a 35 yr old successful family retail business in N Calif and we want out. We are at the point of selling everything off and going to Florida. We’re traveling there on business in a few weeks and will take some extra time during our trip to look around West Florida. We want to get away from people who hate us, the addicts out on the streets, and the lawlessness on every level. We want our freedom back. We give up – California is not going to change back for the better. We never thought we would leave and had no plan to go, but California took care of that. The Democrats have taken a state with every advantage God put on this earth and have absolutely demolished it.

    1. @Sherry Gee, I have never read anyone express the rot the democrats have imposed on California as concisely and eloquently as you: “The Democrats have taken a state with every advantage God put on this earth and have absolutely demolished it.”
      I am thankful for people such as you and your family. Through your entrepreneurship you have risked more than most and improved lives of your family, employees and customers. I do think California is well beyond saving. If Newsom survives the recall, it will only be made possible by the systemic corruption that has infested California’s electoral system.

  3. Very sorry to see another business, and the jobs they offer, leave the State. If voters don’t wake up to the root cause of the rise in crime, high taxes with low services, substandard public education, and homeless camps in our neighborhoods and on our roadways, then they can’t complain. This City and State is run by Democrats, and they alone are responsible for all of these failures. Their policies don’t work, and we are all seeing our beautiful state deteriorate before our eyes. Those of us who are staying will continue to spread awareness and do everything possible to change the policy makers, whether through Recall (Vote Yes on Sept. 14) or at each regular election. Join us!

    1. Thank you, Betsy Mahan, so glad to see this summing up of the root of the problem. Guess I hardly need to add that I wholeheartedly agree with you.

  4. It’s good to know that only positive comments are approved. Negative feedback and cometary are not allowed. Good to know.

    1. That is simply not true. It’s B.S., in fact. A cursory two-minute look at the archives will confirm it.

    2. Your comment today was removed because it was not a comment but a screed directed at Mark Snyder. We welcome insightful comments, oppositional challenges, snark, irreverence, and all kinds of points of view, and rarely pull comments. This is not the appropriate place for such invective.

  5. And in other news, Jessica Millan Patterson was silent and had no comment on these developments…

    She DID send an email asking for donations to the CAGOP, however….

  6. Post hope? Nope. I have hope we can wrest control of this state from the Chinese bought and paid for Great Reset crowd. The alternative to hope is despair but we are not there yet. To quote JRR Tolkien – “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. I have little doubt this corrupt regime will crash and burn in the near future.

    I have no hope at all in the pathetic CA GOP but who needs them?

    1. I so agree with you and others here regarding the pathetic uselessness of the CA GOP; heck, I’d guess there are about 2% of the DC GOP that have a spine or other “necessary “ parts to actually work and fight for the people rather than themselves.

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