Biz Buzz, Feb. 17, 2013

The notion of Joe Q. Homeowner raising chickens in his own backyard morphed from a romantic idea into a popular practice a few years ago as the economy nosedived and the local food movement exploded.

It’s now easier for Grand Valley residents to try their hand at keeping chickens for eggs, meat or, simply, their and their kids’ amusement.

Chicks Galore, a Montrose-based business that raises and stocks chicks and carries poultry feed and supplies, delivers chicks weekly to the West Slope Ag Center, 2734 B 1/2 Road. Chicks Galore opened its Montrose store at 9212 6400 Road for the season Saturday. It also delivers chicks to the West Slope Ag Center in Olathe.

Lance Comstock, who owns Chicks Galore along with his wife, Paulette, said he raised and sold chicks in Grand Junction in the 1970s. He later moved to Montrose. Four years ago, he started Chicks Galore, stocking more than 25 breeds of the top egg-laying chickens, as well as turkeys and ducks.

“There’s a lot of rural people and even city dwellers that raise chickens,” Comstock said.

Comstock said he charges roughly $3 to $3.50 per chick.

For those new to chick-raising, he recommends placing them on a bed of wood shavings inside a galvanized tank or plastic storage container with a heat light and a 150- or 200-watt bulb. The chicks need to be kept at a temperature of 95 to 98 degrees.

“When people are down and out and things are bad, they revert back to having a garden and having chickens,” Comstock said. “They’re pretty simple to raise. You’ve just got to keep them warm.”

Chicks are typically delivered on Tuesday and can be picked up between 
1 and 5 p.m.

The West Slope Ag Center on Orchard Mesa has made more room to sell those chicks, along with other merchandise.

Owners Eldon and Leslie Handke recently finished more than doubling the size of the showroom, from 400 square feet to 1,000 square feet, in order to sell feed, seed and fertilizer. In addition, the front of the store was remodeled.

“We were getting to where we’re getting so many people in the showroom that we had to expand,” Eldon Handke said.

By the first of March, the business also will have completed construction of a bulk fertilizer shed. That means customers will be able to buy their fertilizer on scene rather than having it shipped to the store.

■  The former home of Daylight Donuts on Orchard Mesa is still churning out those fried, glazed morsels of goodness. But it’s now also serving up high-quality coffee and a little breakfast and lunch fare.

The renamed Canyon Coffee Co. and Daylight Donuts opened last week at 230 E. Lynwood St.

Owner Jim Paragien purchased the store in December from Troy Ritter and his family. The Ritters opened it as Daylight Donuts in November 2011 but chose to sell because the family, which also owns and operates the Daylight Donuts at 1410 North Ave., was spread too thin.

Paragien, who owns Junction Discount Furniture next to the Orchard Mesa shop and the strip mall in which those shops are located, has introduced coffee from Tucan Coffee Estates and Roasters on East Orchard Mesa. In addition to doughnuts and rolls, the menu also features paninis, breakfast quesadillas and salads.

Canyon Coffee Co. and Daylight Donuts is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week.

■ The only Black Jack Pizza on the Western Slope has closed.

Black Jack at 1059 North Ave., across from Colorado Mesa University, shuttered last month. A local television station reported that owner Jesse Nelson said he was forced to close because of a lack of capital and “potential legal issues.”

Nelson was employed at the store for several years and worked his way up through the ranks, becoming part-owner of the pizzeria in 2011 and the sole proprietor last year. He told The Daily Sentinel last summer that he helped complete a makeover of the restaurant by adding tables, a big-screen television and pinball machines. He said at the time he was contemplating an expansion.


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