Bornsen's Coffee brings premium organic roasts to local coffee lovers. Plus: Fountain Theatre for sale, Walgreen's lives! (maybe), Wal-Mart woes, Albertsons changes.
"We started this business because, well, we really love good coffee," says Dana Carlsen. "And we thought running a coffee business would be fun. And it is! I mean, if it isn't fun, why bother?"
Her business partner, Mike Osborne, smiles broadly in agreement. Osborne is keeping a watchful eye on the roasting machine's thermometer, getting ready to drop a load of hot beans into the bin.
The two put their love of good java—and their names—together to create Bornsen's Coffee Roasters, based in Mimbres. Bornsen's made the switch to strictly organic and "fair trade" coffee about a year and a half ago, and they have just gotten the details down on their new labeling. The "fair trade" designation means the grower makes a fair return on the sale of the product, rather than being exploited as happens in some sectors of the coffee industry.
Osborne flips a lever and a load of steaming black beans clatters into the mesh bin on the front of the roaster. A mechanical arm swirls the beans around and around, agitating them continually as they cool. The air fills with the seductive aroma of coffee.
"Yeah, it's taken some time with all the details with the labels, but we're finally there," he says.
Final official labels or not, local outlets have long respected the Bornsen's name, and have been selling the coffee by the pound. In Mimbres, the brand is carried at Valle Mimbres Market, Frankie Benoist's new community grocery store. In Silver City, the Curious Kumquat international and gourmet grocery sells Bornsen's beans by the bag, and Barb Fila's Bad Ass Bakery sells the whole bean as well as serving up Bornsen's as her house brew.
For a relatively small operation, Bornsen's offers a respectable variety of single-origin coffees—Ethiopian, Mexican, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, Colombian, Sumatran and Bolivian—as well as their Cowgirl proprietary blend and a Swiss water-processed decaf. The company takes phone, email and Web site orders and sells by the half-pound ($4.50), pound ($9.00) and five-pound ($40) bag. A sampler special, four half-pound packs of any four coffees for $18, is a great coffee introduction or gift idea, Carlsen says.
And once they try, they often buy, she says.
"Local customers are, by far, our biggest buyers," says Carlsen. She says she often hand-delivers orders to loyal buyers right nearby. "If they're not home, I leave it inside the porch or wherever they've told me. Hey, great coffee is a nice thing to come home to!"
Carlsen and Osborne are content to keep their operation at a size that is manageable for them, roasting coffee in small batches, knowing their customers by name.
Carlsen calls it "a quality of life issue. We want to keep loving what we do."
The company's humorous slogan is "Life's a grind, buy the best."
"It's a luxury and a treat, something nice you do for yourself," Carlsen says. "For me, it's just got to be good coffee or why bother?"
Bornsen's Coffee Roasters, 15 Wright Road, PO Box 94, Mimbres, NM 88049, www.bornsencoffeeroasters.com536-9863.
The Mesilla Valley Film Society is looking to buy the historic Fountain Theatre in Mesilla. Jeff Berg, senior writer for Desert Exposure who also is on the film society's volunteer board of directors, says retired and out-of-state owner Lucille Fountain Valentine wants to sell the property. The film society shows its independent and foreign films at the Fountain, and has right of first refusal to buy the property. Berg says the society is doing a lot of fundraising, and is in negotiations. Currently, the price is set at $525,000. Berg adds that the thought of perpetual fundraising to afford the theater "is like a horror movie" and that he would be overjoyed if someone(s) with a deep love of independent film and deep pockets stepped forward to contribute. The film society is accepting donations by mail for the Fountain Theatre purchase at MVFS, Drawer Z, Mesilla, NM 88046 (donations made by check will be returned if the deal falls through) and takes Paypal on its Web site. 524-8287, www.fountaintheatre.org.
Up Against the Walgreen's
The Silver City Walgreen's mystery has resurfaced, and it's become a game of alphabet soup—KED vs. RJL—with a proposed traffic light holding the whole deal in the balance. Business Exposure confirmed last month that commercial developer KED Southwest Inc.'s site near the new Dollar General store on Hwy. 180 is already spoken for with four major retailers signed to the space, thus lacking the square footage for the mega-drugstore. But Claiborne Gallagher of El Paso-based RJL Development has confirmed that their adjacent site has Walgreen's potential. "A preferred Walgreen's developer is looking to do a build-to-suit for them on our site," he says—but the deal depends on the Hwy. 180 construction project. At issue is the erection, or not, of a traffic signal at the Rosedale Road intersection. "It's simple. No traffic light, no Walgreen's," Gallagher says. "Tell your readers that if they want a (Walgreen's) drugstore, to call the New Mexico highway department and tell them that you need a traffic signal at the Rosedale intersection."
New in Town
Belleza Salon and Tanning has opened at 1309 N. Pope Street in Silver City, in the old Silver Heights Nursery building. Proprietor Kathleen Iniguez says the business' space has been thoroughly renovated, to offer a full hair salon with eight stylists, pedicures, massage, including an aqua massage for pain relief and relaxation, a UV tanning bed and No-Sun spray-on Magic Tan booth. "We have a full smoothies bar with frozen mochas and lattes as well," she adds, "and we sell Pureology, Joyco and Redken brand products." 388-2900.
Sierra Community Counseling Center is the new business with the very big sign at 1404 Broadway in Silver City. Therapist husband-wife team Michael and Theresa Danlin own and operate the center, which offers arts- and experiential-based programs designed for families. The facility has an intensive substance-abuse program, a full pottery studio and a play area for children. The Danlins have operated a similar program in T or C for the past year and a half, and are commuting between the two centers. He is an experiential therapist who often takes teens out into the wilderness, and she does art therapy with individuals and groups. 313-3964.
Daryl True has opened The Fence Dog in Silver City, a business that'll erect chain link, wood, barbed wire and whatever other types of fence your heart desires. True got the nickname "Fence Dog" from a contractor in Las Cruces because of his ability to sling up fence fast and furious. Ruff! 956-8724.
Timothy M. Grattan has opened TG Architecture, a commercial architecture firm, at 515 Market St. in Silver City. Grattan moved here in January from Las Vegas, bringing a wealth of experience with him. 956-5522.
Whoa, Nellie! If you need your horses shod or want them trained for roping, you're in luck: Gerardo S. Inclan Jr. has opened S&S Horse Shoeing and Training. Inclan moved here from Tucson a year ago and specializes in team roping. Based in Silver City, he uses a local training ring and also travels all over Grant County to work on site. 545-4437.
Frederick S. Grahn has opened his own general law practice in Silver City. A lawyer in Illinois since 1974, Grahn came to town in early 2000, built and settled into his new home, has since passed the state bar exam and decided to hang out a new shingle. 538-8400.
The Copper Quail Gallery, on the corner of Yankie and Texas Streets in Silver City, is now open. Co-owned by artists Karen Muench and Patricia Bouchard, the gallery features seven local artists. 388-2646.
Jeanne-Marie Banderet has opened Gina's Artwork Cafe at 420 S. Silver Avenue in Deming. 546-5363.
Luis Faustino has opened Aztec Concrete International at 1111 Canyon in Bayard. 537-3565.
Shoe Pavilion, purveyor of men's, women's and children's shoes, handbags and socks, will open in the Mesilla Valley Mall this fall. The store will be located next to Gordon's Jewelers and will carry Anne Klein, Clarks, Easy Spirit, Nine West, Sketchers, ECCO, BCBG, Converse and Timberland brands.
Big Box of Trouble
Wal-Mart will face the music in New Mexico in the form of a class-action suit over alleged unpaid wages. The big-box bully lost its bids here and in Missouri to derail group lawsuits. Employees claim they were forced by company policy to work after clocking out and during meal and rest breaks. In New York, the state's highest court sided with Wal-Mart and said that claims by workers there must be handled individually. Wal-Mart has faced class-action lawsuits over uncompensated work in a number of states, paying $78.5 million to workers in Pennsylvania and $172 million to workers in California last year, decisions it is appealing, and settled a lawsuit over unpaid wages in Colorado for $50 million. Silver City Wal-Mart store manager Albert Quinones was unable to provide any information on the lawsuits.
Mattie Eagle (nee Johnson) has moved Material Good, her natural building materials and home products store, to 108 N. Texas St. in Silver City, next to Spaghetti Western restaurant. Eagle says the larger space will allow her to expand product lines and add housewares and home furnishings. Her new business partner, Daniela Holmes, has been in Silver City for six years, attended WNMU and studied natural and herbal medicine. Holmes will be adding organic and biodynamic gardening products, permaculture concepts and rainwater collection to the business' repertoire. The business hopes to re-open in early July and will celebrate its grand opening July 20, 4-7 p.m. 313-4925, www.materialgood.com.
The Restorative Justice Center, which closed its Bullard Street location several months ago, has reopened in a new space in the College Street Plaza, 301 W. College St., in Silver City.
AFSCME Council 18 Local Office has opened a new, well, office at 7th Street, west of Hub Plaza in Silver City.
San Vicente Home Health Care at 200 Arizona St. in Silver City has added new staff: Randy Harkins, PT, and Carolyn Cordova, RN, director of clinical services. 538 0912.
After being activated for duty and having to close her clinic (formerly named Millennium Physical Therapy), physical therapist and Army Captain Suzanne Thomas is back and seeing new patients at the now renamed Desert Springs Physical Therapy, 310 W. 11th St., Silver City. 534-1187.
Ben Sine, who will manage the new Ace Hardware coming to Hwy. 180 in Silver City, says they've hired on half of their staff, have nearly completed renovations to the building (which also houses Teleperformance USA) and plan to throw open their doors by the third week in July. The store's owner is franchisee Robert Sine, Ben's dad. 956-5530.
In Las Cruces, manager Brian Nenninger says he hopes to open the Drury Inn & Suites being built on Hickory Loop near the SpringHill Suites before the end of July.
That cute little hexagonal building at 1103 N. Hudson in Silver City, which housed Golder Associates before it moved downtown, is getting spiffed up for a new tenant, though no details could be confirmed by press time.
Coas Books, purveyor of new and used books in two Las Cruces locations, is in new hands but still very much all in the family. Mike Becket has purchased the business from his father, Pat Becket, founder and owner for nearly 25 years, who has a lot more time to read for pleasure now that he is retired. 317 N. Main in downtown Las Cruces, 524-8471, and 1101 S. Solano, 647-4472.
And someone new is jingling the keys at Silver City's Comfort Inn, 1060 E. Hwy. 180. Mahesh Patel of Albuquerque, a partner in the Sona Hotel Group, is the new owner. 534-1883.
Cards? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Cards!
Regular Albertsons shoppers in New Mexico have doubtless noticed some changes at their local grocery store. After being bought as a chain in June 2006, Albertsons sold off some lesser-performing stores in Texas and by this August will complete the purchase of 10 Raley's grocery stores, doubling its presence in the Albuquerque area and cementing its foothold in New Mexico. Then, last month, Albertsons stores in New Mexico and Arizona abruptly discontinued the Preferred Card program, a company-wide move. Albertsons already had ended the customer-card program at its 46 stores in Colorado and Wyoming. The corporate office's official line is that now all customers will receive discounts, not just those with so-called "loyalty cards." Company headquarters had no comment on its charitable "Community Partners" program—which was linked to the Preferred Cards and through which community non-profit organizations received donations. Store manager B.J. Manning at the Albertsons on Lohman in Las Cruces confirmed that the "Community Partners" donation program for non-profits will continue, but that the organizations will need to "start from scratch," getting their supporters to fill out applications for new Community Partner cards they can then present at the point of sale, so a portion of their purchase will go to the designated organization. Albertsons has more than 360 stores throughout the Southwestern, Mountain and Great Plains states—including three in Las Cruces and one in Silver City.
On the Market
Dos Baristas coffee house, at the corner of Yankie and Texas Streets in Silver City, is officially on the market. The turnkey business is offered for sale at $45,000, building not included. Owner RuthAnn Poppe says she'll be caring for an elderly relative and has decided to let go of the business. Realtor Colleen Stinar is the listing agent and is handling all inquiries. 574-5451.
Jacqueline Shaw, previous owner of A.I.R. Coffee (now the aforementioned Dos Baristas) in downtown Silver City and the coffee-roasting business of the same name and fame, is selling the building at 208 Central Ave. in Bayard that once housed her roastery, now the home of A.I.R. Roasting House and Cafe. The Bayard cafe's owner, Louis Baum, says that only the building is for sale, and that he has a lease for the property that runs through September 2008. "We aren't going anywhere. Jacqueline just wants to sell the building," he says, adding that if the new owner wanted to occupy the building after his lease runs out, he'd easily find new local digs for his coffee business and cafe.
Bullard Street Bazaar, 416 N. Bullard St. in downtown Silver City, is up for sale. Jennifer Jutras, who bought the five-year-old business from her parents, Shari and Luc Jutras, earlier this year, says she misses the city too much and is going back to New Orleans. $40,000 buys all goods and business fixtures, the business name and turnkey training by Jennifer Jutras who says she enjoyed being a shop-keep and may well start up a similar business in the Big Easy.
Mentioned last month, The Neutral Zone, a new agency offering mediation services and child access and visitation to families in conflict, is a for-profit business, even though it does receive grant funding. Business Exposure regrets the error.
Email business news to