Los Alamos Small Businesses Need Community Support

Owner Catherine Richmond, right, and employee Sydney Turner are smiling behind their masks. They’re happy to be open again at Seeking Chameleon, 35 Rover Blvd. in White Rock. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com

By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
bjgordon@ladailypost.com

It’s been a tough road for local small businesses. Some, like Bliss and the Reel Deal didn’t make it. Others are struggling.

“So many businesses are barely getting by,” said Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Director Ryn Herrmann. “If we should see another closure, some may not be able to reopen. I’m urging everyone in Los Alamos to frequent local small businesses whenever possible.

The Chamber, through funds provided by the Los Alamos Community Development Corporation spent $2,000 on masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, which they made available to more than 20 businesses.

“Our major role right now is to get information out to the businesses,” Herrmann said. “We have helped and will help any business that needs it, not just Chamber members.”

Herrmann said many businesses had taken the down time to refocus and make changes in their business model and to make improvements. For example, Bathtub Row Brewing enlisted volunteers to spruce up its outdoor patio, which is now open to customers. The Los Alamos History Museum has moved its store operations online for the present. Visit them at www.losalamoshistory.org and click the Shop tab.

Omar and Trish Sanchez of Time Out Pizza thanked the community for its support, but noted that their business is struggling.

“Business is starting to pick up a bit, but not enough to pay the rent,” Trish said. “We relied a lot on dine-in customers. Our salad bar drew people to the restaurant. Our salad bar isn’t open yet, but we do offer pre-made salads and the dining area is open. We’re hoping to welcome back all our customers.”

Call Time Out at 505.662.7261 to order take-out. Time Out is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 3-7 p.m. Saturday.

Omar and Trish are selling their White Rock location on N.M. 4. It isn’t about the pandemic, Trish said. The couple are looking toward retirement within a few years and two restaurants is one too many. Call Sotheby’s agent Laura Barber at 505.577.6748 or 505.988.8088 to arrange a showing.

Boomerang is back! The store closed March 18 and reopened June. 1.

“We have so many new items, it’s like a new store,” owner Anna Dillane said. “We’ve had steady traffic, though it’s not up to what it was yet. It’s exciting to see my regular customers. People in this town are so wonderful. We’re blessed.”

The nature of its business means Boomerang has to be extra careful to keep everyone safe, Dillane said. The store requires masks, but for those who forget theirs, Boomerang will provide one. Gloves also are available at the store. Clothes that are tried on are quarantined for 24 hours, as well as all incoming consignments. Curbside pickup is available. If you’re not ready to visit a store, Dillane suggested calling if there’s something you’re looking for (505.662.1479).

How can you help Boomerang? Dillane said paying with cash avoids merchant credit card fees, which saves the store money.

“Buying gift certificates are a great way to help us out,” Dillane said. “A lot of our customers are doing this.”

Things are humming at the Los Alamos Co-op Market. The store is open its regular hours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, Manager Jim Fischer said. There are a number of ways to shop.

For those who don’t wish to enter the store, customers can order on the store’s website at losalamos.coop and pick up their order curbside. Outdoor dining is open and pre-prepared and packaged food is available.

The store requires masks and has masks and sanitizer available. The store has a scheduled cleaning process where everything gets sanitized and cashiers are shielded by plexi-glass, Fischer said.

You don’t have to be a member to shop at the Market, but there are perks to being a member in the form of monthly discounts as well as getting to vote for board members, a newsletter and being part of the Co-op family. This is a great time to join, because the $30 membership is offset by a $20 coupon to shop at the store.

How can locals help the store?

“Don’t go to Santa Fe!” Fischer said. “We have almost everything you can get there. Stop here, save the drive and enjoy our 100 percent organic produce and grass-fed meat. Check us out!”

Seeking Chameleon is now open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 35 Rover Blvd. in White Rock.

“Not having sales for a month was tough, but we didn’t sink!” owner Catherine Richmond said. “People have been incredibly supportive. “If everyone does their part, small businesses get to keep going.”

Masks are required and masks, gloves and hand sanitizer are available. There’s lots of new merchandise, Richmond said.

“Customers are returning, but some haven’t yet,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone come back!”

Many small businesses have re-opened or expanded their services and hours. The Chamber has a list of what’s up with local businesses. Visit losalamoschamber.com to view the regularly updated Business Status List.

LOS ALAMOS

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