May 26, 2010

New Art Gallery Opening in Monte Vista, Colorado

What’s the story behind the new gallery in Monte Vista? All Good Things, Gallery and Gift Boutique, is located at 1021 Second Avenue, across from the bowling alley and is owned by Jenna Ford. Jenna, who has a degree in art, has always had a real passion for art, and she has had an idea for an art gallery and gift boutique in Monte Vista for a long time. For the past eleven years she has been busy with her family potato farm and the Mansion Bed and Breakfast businesses. Jenna has been involved with the DREAM TEAM and Monte Vista Chamber as a volunteer and thought, there is something more that downtown Monte Vista deserves. Finally the timing felt right to Jenna and she acquired an 1896 home that she has been renovating, with as much emphasis on historical restoration as is feasible. Drawing inspiration from former owner Hope Ortiz, Jenna has completely rejuvenated this structure inside and out. While word spread around the community of a future showcase for artists, Jenna was busily scraping, sanding, texturing and painting. Her labor of love has now paid off with a beautiful gallery and gift shop. Many artisans are looking forward to displaying and selling their original artwork and unique gift items in this location and have already contacted her. Jenna wants to offer the possibility of themed shows and wants to tie in with Wild Thyme Gallery owned by Laura Murphy about six blocks away to market their shows and events together. Jenna strongly believes in giving back and getting involved in your community and encourages small business owners to join their chamber, Monte Arts Council, use resources like the SLV Small Business Development Center, or whatever groups that can help them advocate, teach and network their business. Jenna is also now selling the beautiful laser-cut panels designed by artist Tord Boontje that adorn her gallery windows. She can be contacted at (719) 849-0891 or for upcoming events. Don’t miss her Trunk Show and Open House featuring Autumn Teneyl clothing on Friday and Saturday, Memorial Day weekend. Free and confidential business counseling is available from the SLV SBDC at or call Donna Wehe at 587-5151.

May 6, 2010

Shop Rite in Monte Vista, Colorado is a New Business

Shop Rite in Monte Vista

Monte Vista Shop Rite is not just another retail store; it is a discount specialty store that provides what the community wants and needs with unique products and services. With over 35 years of experience in retail, Anita Wazny, owner, said “I know that without customers there is no business. We are customer and market driven and will do what is necessary to maintain a good and healthy relationship with our clientele and will strive to find the right inventory to keep them happy.” She feels fortunate to have employed Erica Medina, who was manager of the former business at this location, and has been a tremendous help in getting the new store up and running. They share a vision to have the store be more like a trading post, catering to local needs. To fulfill this purpose, they have placed a suggestion board by the front door and ask customers for input on items they would like to see on the shelves. They offer free coffee and doughnuts daily to show appreciation for their customers.
The store carries new and unique items as well as much of your daily need items. Among the new products you will find in the store are Italian charms with which you can create a one-of-a-kind bracelet, watchband or keychain. The store is an outlet for fresh baked goods, jams & jellies from the Miller Family Bakery. There is also a consignment area for local craft items that now showcases “cut & curl” candles made by local artisan Bill Mathias. The parking lot has market space for vendors available for a minimal fee.

Anita currently lives in Albuquerque, but was born and raised in Montrose, Pueblo and Denver. She really likes being her own boss and has long wanted to move back to a small town in this state. When she saw this building was at auction, it seemed like the perfect fit for her. Anita contacted the Monte Vista Chamber for information, then followed with contacts with Dick Davidson of the SLV Development Resources Group and Donna Wehe at the Small Business Development Center for information and resources.

Donna and Deanne Elliott, SBDC Counselor for Rio Grande County, helped Anita to refine her business plan in preparation for a loan application, as well as shared marketing and merchandising information relating to our area. The SBDC offers free and confidential business assistance, runs low cost workshops and facilitates the Leading Edge Program. To contact the SBDC, call 719-587-5151 or go to

Anita feels it is important to be a contributing member of the community, so has enrolled Shop Rite as a member of the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce. The new business, located at 1935 Grande Avenue, is in a convenient location to the residents of the east side of Monte, but is worth the trip for everyone else. They look forward to seeing you soon for their Grand Opening.

The phone number for MV Shop Rite is 852-8850. The store is now open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm; Sundays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

May 3, 2010

Papers of Distinction in Alamosa, Colorado

Papers of Distinction, LLC
      Sally Lopez is not just another retailer in downtown Alamosa. This woman has many artistic talents that she has used to express her faith and give back to her community. She has operated her store for over 11 years and offers a wide variety of retail paper, scrapbooking, stamping and educational materials. She also can provide design and printing of business cards, flyers, invitations, laminating, color copies and book binding. She sells balloons and other special occasion products for the party planner as well.

La Capilla do Todos Santos, San Luis, Colorado

    But sitting on her counter near the cash register, one can't help but notice the beautifully arranged musical CD entitled, AGAPE, with a photo of the church that sits on the hill overlooking San Luis (La Capilla de Todos Los Santos). With each CD sale, the proceeds benefit the order of the Theatine Fathers who have served as parish priests in the San Luis Valley. Sally and the Agape Musicians recorded the CD at the Sangre de Cristo Catholic Church in San Luis and at Sally's Grandma Bea's home located across from the church. Then the final mixing and mastering was created by Don Richmond at Howlin' Dog Recording Studio in Alamosa. The music of Andy Manzanares, Jeffrey Jaquez, Sally Lopez, Brother Juan Marinoni Ruiz and Danny Quintana will fill you with the meaning of Agape: "The Love of God." You can find unique, religious "shaker" cards that Sally has created as well. So if you haven't frequented her store on State Avenue, stop by and browse around. Sally is full of surprises! Not to mention that she also plays guitar with Mariachi San Luis, a group well-known for their musical talents from ages 8 yrs. to 60 yrs!