The owner of the locksmith shop locks up the business

CHICO — I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with business owner and locksmith Jason Montague, a very friendly man who recently opened a new locksmith business in Chico.

Montague has owned Giles Lock and Security in Redding for 18 years. He opened Johnny’s Lock and Safe on Mangrove Avenue on January 1. Montague worked as a locksmith for 30 years.

Montague moved from Redding to Chico in 1992 and stayed until 1997. He attended Chico State with his wife and graduated with a degree in business. He began studying physics and engineering, but decided that work was better suited to his long-term goals. His business degree helped him immensely in starting his business. Giles Lock and Security and Johnny’s Lock and Safe were owned by Seth Giles. Montague started working at Johnny’s, then returned to Redding five years later.

Giles sold the company and Montague bought it in 2004.

“Thirty years later, I wanted to expand,” Montague said. “I came to Chico and bought Johnny’s, so it was full circle.”

Montague now lives in Redding.

When Montague got his degree, he knew he wanted to stay in the locksmith business because it was something he knew very well.

“There was an opportunity to take ownership of a locksmith business in Redding and I took it, so I bought the shop where I started,” he said.

Montague said business at the Chico store is going very well. There are four full-time employees there.

“I have a great team,” he said. “It’s exciting for me. The secret to success is finding good employees and keeping them.”

Montague is an active Rotarian in Redding. He is also a member of the board of Members First Credit Union.

“I hope people get to know me,” Montague said. “I like to get involved in the community I’m in. Getting to know the community is very important to me.”

He said both stores are similar and full-service locksmith shops. Locksmiths work in residences and commercial businesses and repair safes and work on cars.

The cost of locksmith services varies greatly depending on how many locks are installed, etc. The store also sells keys, safes, locks, doorknobs and other supplies.

“I have a big heart for Chico,” he said. “I love it here and I’m excited to do business here.”

Montague said his business model has always been focused on customer service.

“We offer the best customer service possible,” he said. “I train my employees to offer excellent customer service.”

Montague has the first dollar he made 18 years ago on display in the store.

Johnny’s Lock and Safe is located at 1224 Mangrove Avenue, no. 1. The store’s phone number is 895-3336. The store is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The store’s website can be found at and Montague is on Facebook under Johnny’s Lock and Safe. Montague is working on opening an Instagram account.

Jennie Blevins writes a business column every week. To submit ideas or suggestions or ask questions, email her at [email protected]

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