Biz buzz, Dec. 16, 2012

FirstLight Home Care has opened a franchise in Grand Junction, offering a range of in-home care services for seniors, disabled or sick individuals and others.

FirstLight opened at 529 25 1/2 Road, near Sam’s Club, on Dec. 3.

The licensed company provides companion care such as meal preparation, light housekeeping and shopping; personal care such as bathing, walking assistance and posture positioning; and dementia care. And it offers those services in a patient’s home or in a nursing or assisted-living home, according to Briana Grossnickle, FirstLight’s regional business director.

Grossnickle worked in home care while she studied social work at the University of Northern Colorado. She split 10 years between Weld and Mesa counties performing such work, directed an adoption agency in Grand Junction, then joined FirstLight.

Grossnickle said the first two weeks of business have been so busy that FirstLight has more clients than employees. She said she hired four employees last week and is looking to add six more. Applicants must pass a background check and a drug test. There are other requirements, too.

“They have to care about these people. This isn’t just a paycheck,” she said.

Anyone interested in applying for a job should call 639-2048.

■ So, hunters, you’ve bagged that 6-point buck and you want to display your trophy on the wall of your home. But you’re afraid the missus might not share your enthusiasm, meaning a little smoothing over might be in order. Or maybe she simply needs a gift to go alongside yours.

You might be able to accomplish all of that at the Buck Stops Here Taxidermy and Silver Sage Gallery on Glade Park.

Owners Jeff and Darla Green opened their studio and gallery earlier this year at 719 S 14 Road, about 2 1/2 miles west of the Glade Park Store.

“Those guys (hunters) always want to bring something home to their wives. Why not have one-stop shopping?” Darla Green said.

The Greens purchased the property, which they also call home, two years ago. They both have full-time jobs — Jeff as a vocational instructor for the Division of Youth Corrections and Darla as a case manager for Mesa Developmental Services — but wanted to create something they enjoy doing and could pursue as a business in retirement. Jeff is a certified taxidermist, and Darla has been creating jewelry for 15 years. Silver Sage Gallery sells items such as custom pens made out of antlers, deerskin pouches, gourd art, survival bracelets and photographs.

Visit the businesses on the evenings and weekends or call 201-3903 for an appointment.

■  After 22 years of dishing up a mix of diner fare, comfort food and American classics, the RainTree Restaurant will close Dec. 30, the victim, the owners claim, of a down economy they say drained their customer base and pushed up food prices.

“We’re going to retire,” Rod Starling said of the plans he and his wife, Diane, have. “I’m 72 years old. We just said, ‘Enough is enough.’ We can’t put more money into this.”

Rod Starling said the restaurant, located at 492 Morning Glory Lane, attracted a wide range of customers. But they don’t come in as often as they used to, he said, particularly senior citizens on fixed incomes and blue-collar workers who have less work than before or lost their jobs altogether.

Starling also blamed the 29 Road overpass project, which was completed last year but, during its construction, closed off direct access from the Interstate 70 Business Loop.

He said he’ll miss his 11 employees who will soon be looking for work and customers who often became friends.

“A lot of these people are like family,” he said. “We know them, we know their kids, we know where they go on vacation.”

■ The time for Taco Time in Grand Junction was short-lived.

The Mexican fast-food restaurant at 2301 North Ave. closed Nov. 30.

The eatery opened in the summer of 2011, becoming the second location on the Western Slope. There’s also a location in Delta.

Franchisee Melany Leasure couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. Taco Time posted on its Facebook page Nov. 27 that the franchise had a potential buyer but that nothing was “set in stone yet.” Two days later, Taco Time posted it would be “closing for good.”

“Although we never like to see a store close, the decision to close a store is that of our individual franchisees,” Kate Unger, senior vice president of marketing for Kahala Franchising LLC, the franchise company for Taco Time, wrote in an email to The Daily Sentinel.

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