San Juan Trading Post

By Malia Durbano

Ryan, Tom and Ellen Beavers are all partners in San Juan Trading Post, a new business that opened in Pagosa Springs in October of 2013.

Parents Tom and Ellen live in Pagosa and develop properties there. Son Ryan was managing a pawn shop in Ohio. When Tom and Ellen looked around, they realized there wasn’t a pawn shop in Pagosa and thought it might be a good place to open one.

Ryan explains how they met with Advisor Rich Lindblad and former Director Joe Keck to “brainstorm and come up with some numbers to figure out if the community was large enough to support a pawn shop.” Rich helped them “think in concrete terms and set projections to meet expenses and know how much working capital they would need to open the business.”

Joe Keck helped them, “Walk through the steps of what it would take to open.” Joe also introduced them to the owner of the largest pawn shop in Cortez who provided lots of practical advice on managing the business as well as contacts to purchase merchandise.

After analyzing the data, the owners and advisors weren’t sure Pagosa had the population to support a pawn shop, but decided that if they incorporated a few businesses under one roof – it would work. A variety of merchandise would ensure a larger customer base.

San Juan Trading Post now has something for everyone. For visitors to the area, they offer souvenirs including turquoise jewelry and Navajo Pottery. For the hunters, they have a wide selection of guns and ammunition and for the bargain hunters; they offer many items that have been pawned.

Ryan shares, “It was great to have Rich and Joe to brainstorm with and to learn from their vast business experience and knowledge of the area. I appreciated their input and encouragement.”

Turquoise Raven Gallery: An Unkindness among the Artists

Paintings. Collages. Mosaics. Photography. Glasswork. Drawings. Walking Sticks. Books. Jewelry. Leatherwork. Pottery. These are all things that ignite Mary Fuller’s passion for art. For years, she’s had a vision of bringing artists from the Four Corners together into dedicated fine art gallery. In 2020, after various careers in both the education and nonprofit sector, she decided that it was time to make her dream a reality. Being a former teacher, Mary understood the value of

Read More »
Chimayo

Michael Lutfy and his wife, Biergitte, did research for years before they purchased, renovated and opened the Chimayo Restaurant on Main Avenue in Durango. Michael started working in his Uncle’s restaurant when he was 12 years old. He worked his way through college as a chef, and then worked as an Executive Chef for a large restaurant in downtown Los Angeles for many years. Desiring to change careers and become a writer, and then an

Read More »
Sunnyside Farms

By Malia Durbano When Holly Zink decided to open her fresh, local and organic meat and seafood business in 2002, she called Joe Keck to learn how to set up a corporation and to “make sure all my bases were covered.” When she moved to her new location inside of Nature’s Oasis in 2007, she realized there were some issues and difficulties with profitability. In 2008, she and her husband, Jesse Villanueba, attended the NxLevel

Read More »
Handcrafted House

Since opening its doors in mid December of 2010, Handcrafted House has seen a great response from the community thus far, says owner Sheryl Lock. Located at 1323 East 2nd Ave., the store offers sustainable finishes and interiors. “We carry all non-toxic finishes and will be expanding into interiors: natural latex beds, rugs, shower curtains, organic bedding,” describes Lock. “We’ll also have more wall stencils and fun things like that; we’ve been adding about a

Read More »
Toast Mobile Lounge

Carol Clark was an event planner. She coordinated events such as Oktoberfest, the Durango Farmers Market and the Four Corner’s Green Living Expo. With an eye for detail, Carol noticed sizeable crowds but a lack of food vendors to feed them all. This perceived need appeared to be a business opportunity. In 2012, Carol took her idea to pair event planning and mobile food truck services to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Fort

Read More »
Enterprise Bar & Grill

Have you heard the story about the entrepreneur who bought a business because she was looking for a job?  Seriously.  She bought a bar and grill in Rico, CO, with no previous business experience.  A year and a half into it she sought assistance from the Small Business Development Center.  This woman took a class designed for entrepreneurs, implemented the suggested practices, became business savvy, and now has a goal to buy the property her bar and grill operates

Read More »