Biz Buzz, Sept. 23, 2012

The salad bar line will be reconfigured and the seating arrangement will look different, but the biggest change for Garden of Eat’n will be a new location when the vegetarian-friendly eatery reopens Thursday at 200 W. Grand Ave., Unit 1.

The restaurant opened at 2502 U.S. Highway 6&50 four years ago, and when the lease expired, owners Kathy and Kirk Griffith decided to move into a space they could eventually purchase. They found it at Grand Central Plaza, where the units are condominiumized. They signed a five-year lease on a 2,371-square-foot space and can exercise an option to buy at anytime.

Garden of Eat’n closed four months ago to relocate. But reopening took longer than expected, as the Griffiths had trouble finding contractors who could meet their budget.

Customers noted the extended absence, with two or three coming by the new location nearly every day wondering when it would open again while workers built a kitchen and an office, Kathy Griffith said. One woman wanted to know what she could do to help the restaurant open faster.

“We feel very blessed to have the customers we do,” Griffith said.

Griffith said she and her husband are looking to add soup selections as the weather continues to cool and possibly introduce some sandwich options, too. Come next spring, the restaurant could boast outdoor patio dining, although nothing’s official, Griffith said.

Garden of Eat’n will be open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It also has a new phone number: 628-4802.

■ Brothers Ruben, Juan and Francisco Martinez have all worked for years in Grand Junction body shops, the automotive industry effectively being the only one they’ve known.

Last month, they decided to strike out on their own and open Martinez Auto Body, located at 495 Grand Mesa Ave. on Orchard Mesa.

“I think all three of us were ready for a change,” said Ruben Martinez, the oldest brother. “We thought we’d give it a shot on our own and see what happens.”

The brothers perform body and paint repair, custom paint jobs and suspension work. Martinez said they will work on all makes and models of vehicles.

“It’s going better than expected,” he said. “We’re not super-busy, but there hasn’t been a day where we haven’t had work.”

Martinez Auto Body is open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at 712-4931.

■ When Jennifer Schaffer’s husband moved from Ogden, Utah, to Grand Junction last year to take a job teaching history at Colorado Mesa University, she temporarily stayed behind. Operating a pet grooming business for 20 years in Ogden allowed her to develop personal relationships with a lot of clients, so shutting down her salon there wasn’t as simple as shutting off a light switch.

She’s hoping to establish similar connections with pet owners here in the Grand Valley after opening Best Paw Forward earlier this year.

After operating her Ogden business in a commercial salon, she’s running Best Paw Forward out of her home at 782 Jade Lane. It was easy for her to set up there, since the previous owner ran a beauty salon there.

“I am enjoying the small shop so much more than the big commercial space,” Schaffer said. Without the overhead that comes with rent and utilities, “I can charge customers less. Dogs seem more relaxed. They’re not all hyped up.”

Schaffer said she attended pet grooming school in Las Vegas and regularly attends seminars to keep up on training and the latest in the industry.

“I know some people just look at it as dog grooming, but I don’t. It’s really passion for me,” she said.

Schaffer said she grooms both dogs and cats — many groomers will only see dogs — and charges a flat rate of $25 for first-time customers, regardless of the animal’s size or the amount of hair or fur. She will groom for an extra fee at a client’s home.

Best Paw Forward is generally open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, though Schaffer said she’ll make herself available for early-morning or evening appointments if need be. She can be reached at 986-8813.

Anna Sage seemed destined to own Yore Emporium.

She began working at the Grand Junction business, which sells a variety of used items ranging from furniture and jewelry to antiques and knick-knacks, when Ray Teetsel opened it a year ago. Within a month, she said, she was running the day-to-day operations of the business.

Sage bought the business, located at 510 30 Road, in June and has put her own stamp on it.

She said she has cleaned up the store, removing a lot of what she called “junk,” and is no longer doing consignment. She acquires most of her merchandise through estate sales, eBay and customers who sell items to her.

“I don’t get anything in there that’s cruddy or dirty or ripped or torn,” she said. “It’s very clean.”

Teetsel, she said, “brought in all kinds of junk. He figured if he could sell it for a quarter, he was 25 cents ahead.”

Within a couple of weeks, Sage plans to open a section of the store containing vintage Christmas items.

She and her husband, Ronald, aren’t new to business in the valley. They previously owned a couple of restaurants in town and a gift store downtown in the mid-1990s.

“We just like being among people,” she said.

Yore Emporium is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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