Biz Buzz, June 27, 2010

Lower rent for basically the same amount of space, plus gaining a local landlord instead of one from out of state, made it a no-brainer for Kelli O’Neal to move the women’s health and fitness club Curves across the street into its new Clifton home, 571 32 Road, Unit E.

Curves, which has been in Clifton for 12 years, was a stone’s throw away at 590 32 Road in Mesa Pointe Plaza for the past six years.

“At our new place the owner was very interested in the success of Curves and willing to help out in any way possible,” O’Neal wrote in an e-mail. “Concerns and communication were addressed immediately. The other owners group basically couldn’t care less and was impossible to get a hold of, either through mail, e-mail, phone calls, etc.”

O’Neal also owns the Curves in Grand Junction, 2478 Patterson Road, which has been open 14 years.

“We recently renewed our lease with the owner of that location, local, who was also willing to work with us on all levels,” she wrote.

O’Neal acknowledged the recession has affected her clubs, but she said she diligently has worked to reduce expenses while preserving a safe, comfortable and caring environment for members.

The Clifton Curves’ new next-door neighbor is new to 571 32 Road, as well. The Secret Garden opened in late May in Unit D, where owners Joseph Nunez and Josh Roseberry are selling supplies for hydroponics, home brewing and year-round grilling. They held their grand opening June 18 and soon will host another one, as they’re targeting Thursday to open The Secret Garden in Fruita at 201 E. Aspen Ave.

The duo said home brewing and gardening, be it indoor or outdoor, work well together.

Nunez said workers at The Secret Garden hope to cultivate customers through education. They won’t sell unnecessary items to people, Nunez said, offering the example of steering newcomers toward conventional gardening before making the jump to hydroponics. Nunez and Roseberry also plan to host classes on growing and home brewing.

“We know what we’re talking about,” Roseberry added. “We all really care. We’re passionate about it.”

Grand Junction has other hydroponics shops, but Nunez believes having stores on each end of the Grand Valley will prove convenient for customers.

“This is an ever-growing industry,” he said, “so I think there’s going to be enough demand for us to supply.”

Kevin and Kellie Hartman opened Great Harvest Bread Co., 347 E. Main St. in Montrose, on June 11. The reason: “We got tired of driving to Grand Junction to get good bread,” Kevin said. “It really is just about that simple.”

Hartman said Great Harvest makes some of the best bread he and Kellie have eaten, which sparked their trips to the Great Harvest Bread Co. store in Grand Junction, 2464 U.S. Highway 6&50, every other week.

Hartman left one family business, selling welding supplies, to start another with his wife, who had been a stay-at-home mother of their four children. Two of the kids — Samantha, 18, and William, 15 — work at the store.

“We said whatever we do in life, we should enjoy it,” Kevin Hartman said.

Squash that rumor: If two or three people had said it over the course of a couple weeks, Julie Groll might have dismissed it. But when at least 20 people during the previous week told her they heard her store, Blue River Trading Co., was going out of business, she needed to end the nonsense.

“No, we are not closing our doors for any reason,” the owner said.

Rather, the store at 441 Main St. has extended its hours for the summer, remaining open until 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, instead of 5:30 p.m. as on other days. And through September, Blue River Trading Co. will be open noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, traditionally the one day a week it is closed.

“We’re doing great,” Groll said. “We plan on staying in business and look forward to a good season ahead.”


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