Biz Buzz, April 29, 2012

Believing Mom was onto something and no longer desiring to drive trucks for the oil and gas industry, Kim Henderson put her career change on display at the corner of Third and Main Streets in Palisade. She opened Lupita’s Bizarre Bazaar Too, which she terms an eclectic retail, art and gift store.

The new venture takes a page and most of the name from the store her mother, Susan Baker, has operated in Ridgway for the past 22 years: Lupita’s Bizarre Bazaar.

“And she’s been successful, so I kept looking at that,” Henderson of the career switch she contemplated after five years of truck driving, which was preceded by a dozen years as a librarian in School District 51.

The truck-driving gig, she said, was a matter of: “I needed to make some money.”

Now she wants her income to stem from selling antiques, including furniture; crafts such as wine-bottle bird feeders made by a woman in Palisade; pottery made in Olathe and Montrose; locally made art; toys; jewelry; table linens; rugs from Mexico; and unusual imports, greeting cards and “plenty of whimsy.”

Henderson opened her store April 6, and she said the first few weeks have been great.

■ Lupita’s Bizarre Bazaar Too resides in the former Palisades National Bank building at 305 Main St., which hit home with Henderson’s husband, Randy, when they were remodeling the store.

“We were painting,” Kim said, “and my husband said, ‘This is so weird. I got my first car loan here.’”

■ Another new Palisade business, Sprigs & Sprouts of Western Colorado, resulted from career changes, but the lavender farm and farmers market started by Linda Bailey and Ruth Elkins stemmed from necessity. They worked together as medical transcriptionists until local contract work dried up last spring.

How did they decide on the start-up lavender business? Elkins quipped, “I don’t know ... desperation or something.”

Actually, they learned about the versatility of lavender, for which there is a saying: one plant, endless possibilities.

Bailey and Elkins said they invested their life savings in Sprigs & Sprouts, beginning with the purchase of the property at 3669 G Road, immediately west of Palisade High School. In June they planted three fields of lavender plants, plus vegetables they sold fresh to restaurants and at farmers markets. Bailey said some of their lavender products are being shipped to the East Coast and overseas.

“If I didn’t believe it was viable, I wouldn’t have put everything I have into this,” Elkins said, adding her investment decision is “everything my grandma told me not to do.”

This spring brings the opening of the retail store, which starts with a ribbon cutting and soft opening Friday. But the real opening day, both said, will be May 12, Mother’s Day weekend.

■ The photography of Larry Bennett will give customers of Main Street Bagels, 559 Main St., something to look at while they eat a bagel or sip coffee. Or, you might say the customers of Bennett’s Aspen Photo Art Gallery will be able to buy food and beverage to enjoy while browsing the 80 photos he has displayed in the west room of the bagel shop.

Either way, both stand to benefit from Bennett leasing wall space to show and sell his photography, which also can be viewed and purchased online at His photos were hung last week, and the gallery officially opens Tuesday.

Bennett, a Grand Junction native and lifelong resident aside from three years living in Mexico, said he has 37 years of photography experience. He calls the southwestern U.S. his backyard, “where on any given day I can enjoy the vast beautiful deserts of Southern Utah or possibly an alpine lake in the mountains of Colorado.”

That shows in his photos, many capturing picturesque landscapes and nature. He has an affinity for the full moon, as he finds a different location every month to shoot it, weather permitting.

The 80 images currently on display were chosen by a 12-person committee from a collection of 300, Bennett said. As photographs sell, he will rotate in new images.

Liz Sinclair has heard the rumors that the bar she manages has closed, but as she worked Thursday afternoon it was clear some people received bad information.

What changed, she said, is merely the business name. The Red Room Bar & Lounge is no more, as the short-lived name gives way to Weavers’ Red Room, returning the name of the owners to the bar and grill at 103 N. First St., which until late January had been Weavers Tavern.

The Red Room Bar & Lounge was angling to become a nightclub offering dancing and frequent live music, but that didn’t transpire, Sinclair said. Instead, Weavers’ Red Room will be the establishment patrons knew previously, with a deejay two nights a week and occasional live music.

“We’re going to do what we’ve always done,” she said.

That means Weavers’ Red Room is bringing back lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Our world-famous burgers are back,” Sinclair said.

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