Biz Buzz, May 18, 2014

Two new businesses opened downtown at 338 S. Second St. last week. The first is a gem, mineral and fossil store called Moroccan Village.

“We have fossil and mineral specimens from all over the world as well as handmade silver jewelry, home décor, genuine Berber rugs, cabochons and gems for jewelry makers, rough rock for lapidary, crystals and more,” said owner Fouad Elayadi, an immigrant from Morocco.

Everything in Moroccan Village is either handmade or all natural, with no exceptions.

“We wanted a name that would encompass our intentions of creating community in Grand Junction and also to honor the place our owner comes from (Morocco),” spokeswoman Shasta Hall said. 

The store opened Thursday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

The second business is Discount Bicycle Warehouse, owned by Seth Cain. The shop was previously located at Moe Ping’s Kool Things.

“We are a used bike shop with an emphasis on recycling,” Cain said. “All of our bikes are repaired and rebuilt so they can be useful once again at an affordable price.”

Cain claims to have the largest selection of used bicycle parts in the city, including many hard-to-find parts for classic bikes.

“We sell adult bikes for $35, kids bikes for $15 and offer a $5 flat repair,” Cain said. 

He will patch an old tube and won’t make customers buy a new tube and pay him to put it in before throwing the old tube in the trash, something he has seen happen at other shops, Cain said.

“We do repairs with used parts to keep them from becoming garbage and to save the customer money,” he said.

Cain finds a good portion of his inventory from the scrap yards and the rest come from donations.

“We have an arrangement with a couple local nonprofit organizations that bring us the bikes they get,” he said. “Mostly they want bikes for the kids in their programs and they give us the rest to fix and sell. In return, when they need a service, they bring the kid and the bike down and we teach them how to fix it themselves.”

Cain said many of the children he sees don’t even know what a wrench is before they come down to the shop, but he makes sure they get to ride away with a little bit of independence and self-sufficiency.

“We get donations from the public as well. Most of the time, people would rather bring their old bikes to us than throw them away. Even the bikes that can’t be fixed get used. We take off the useful parts and recycle the metal,” he said.

Roan Creek Ranch is expanding its organic, locally grown food business, said owner and local veterinarian Kathryn Bedell, who has operated the Grand Valley ranch for the past 11 years.

Now she plans to open a bricks and mortar grocery store on May 28 at 119 E. Aspen St. in Fruita.

“We’re going to sell all local products,” Bedell said. “I’m working with growers in Palisade to get the fruits and vegetables I need. We’ll be selling locally made marinades, ketchup, sauces, condiments, pasta, bread, cheese, and canned and dried goods including a variety of flours from the San Luis Valley.”

Pasture-raised milk and cheese from Utah and flour from the San Luis Valley will also be sold, she said.

“We hope to be a one-stop shop for anyone looking to support our local food growers and producers,” Bedell said. 

Among the more unusual products available: lard in one-gallon buckets for $25, rendered from the ranch’s naturally raised pigs. The lard contains no residue from antibiotics or growth promotants, she said.

“Lard is good for pie crusts, frying and anywhere you used Crisco,” Bedell said in a Facebook post. “I do also have unprocessed beef fat if anyone wants tallow.”

Bedell has explored and developed marketing strategies that added sheep and laying chickens to the ranch’s production model, stacking the enterprises to improve profitability and land utilization and to capitalize on demand for Roan Creek’s products.

People who want to know where their food is grown and prefer when it is raised close to home are Bedell’s chief customers, she said.

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