Biz Buzz, March 6, 2011

The Donut Shop Plus, 2956 North Ave., Suite 4, got a new owner this year, but it remained in the family.

Robert and Connie Steele bought the bakery and breakfast/lunch restaurant in Harmony Square from Robert’s brother, Willie Steele, in early January and reopened it after it had been closed nearly a month.

Previously a mechanic and welder, the 47-year-old Robert worked in restaurants in his younger days, and when Willie asked if he’d be interested in buying The Donut Shop Plus, Robert decided, “Why not? Give it a try.”

Robert remodeled the kitchen and made some changes at the outset. He said he has been experimenting with different toppings on pastries: Fruity Pebbles cereal, Nerds candy and Enstrom Candies toffee, to name a few. The shop started making some breads to order and is trying to offer a signature bread every day.

Robert said he’s “going to focus a lot on deliveries of pastries and lunch-menu items.” His shop closes after lunch, but future plans include serving family-style dinner until about 8:30 p.m.

Robert said he struggled a little on his first day running the shop, but everything has been fine since. Ensuring things run smoothly are the likes of Delaina Bonham, Annette Kuntz, Tasha Lester and Krystal Sena.

“The old saying is good help is hard to find,” Robert said. “Good help is all I got. ... I gloat about them every day on Facebook. They’re really good at what they do.”

If you’re cleaning out the closets this spring, Troy Bruce wants your donations. Bruce opened 2nd Hand Land on Feb. 1 next to the former Encore Shoppe location in Cottonwood Mall, 2493 U.S. Highway 6&50.

Bruce, a Grand Junction native, was discouraged by his job prospects in the oil and gas industry.

“I got laid off again and thought I’d like to own a business,” he said. “This is just your basic thrift store, and I’m trying to keep the prices as low as I can. I want it to be a place where if people need it, they can afford it.”

The store has a startup inventory that includes housewares and clothing for men, women and children. Bruce said it’s a shame to see people throw away perfectly good items or to see other thrift stores throw away clothing they think won’t sell.

“You never know what people are going to want,” he said.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call 640-2174.

The ribbon cutting the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce hosted last week for Smuggler’s Brew Pub, 2412 U.S. 6&50, reflected a number of recent changes for the business, which opened in late 2008.

Joe Chesterson joined the ownership team, becoming a part owner along with Mike Metz, according to General Manager Amanda Larson, who was promoted to her position as part of the changes. Smuggler’s also revamped its menu and is renovating the patio.

New menu items include sliders, Kobe burgers and a south side of Chicago menu. The outdoor beer garden is being painted to look like a jungle, and a Tiki bar already is in place, Larson said.

Grapes, Grain & Barley Discount Liquor, 1040 Independent Ave., Suite A, next to but separate from Sam’s Club, closed at the end of January. The Auction Team, 1610 U.S. Highway 50 South, handled the liquidation sale Jan. 29.

One of Grand Junction’s Jackson Hewitt Tax Service locations moved to 1001 Patterson Road in time for this tax season. The branch had been at 2989 North Ave., in the strip mall across Melody Lane from the Wal-Mart Supercenter.

George Smith, who owns 16 Jackson Hewitts in Colorado, including all five in Grand Junction, recently purchased the office that moved to Patterson, according to Cheryl Ricks, general manager of Smith’s branches. She said the Patterson Road office will be open year-round.

Quickly snapping up the space Jackson Hewitt vacated was another income-tax preparer, Liberty Tax Service.


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