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Santa Fe New Mexican: Sunday, October 2, 2005 - Page 7

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   New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico                                Sunday October 2 2005 THE NEW MEXICAN A7 Its a lot of work but its worth it because you have to move forward in life SOFIA TREJO whos juggling two jobs as a nurses assistant and housekeeper while selling shoes with her sisterinlaw at Zapatos Gala OJ Luis Sanchez New Mexican IMpnique Wiggins right of Santa Fe and her daughter Tara Lucio 6 browse through clothes Tuesday at En cantos Boutique on Cerrillos Road Owner Noelia Andazola is reflected on the mirror Thenew reneurs Immigrant owners starting small keeping day jobs until their businesses grow Continued from Page Al in the Midwest puffy couches with easyto clean covers shiny diningroomtable sets and chrome lamps Theres nary a handcarved trastero or Navajo rug in sight Andres Mendoza who along with his wife his inlaws and his brother and sisterinlaw opened the business four months ago believes the stores products are what Santa Fes immi grant community wants Our people arent going to buy something for It has to be less expensive maybe And if they can do it in monthly pay ments even And Mendoza thinks his familys new store which opened in July will be able to beat out the chainstore competitiori Their edge he said is that he and his rela tives know the immigrant community Men doza emigrated from El Salvador 15 years ago and his inlaws are from Mexico First of all we have the language People want to be understood and they want to be treated very well And secondly people from Latin America like to bargain Thats our custom and were continuing it here If you go into a chain store the person working there isnt going to be able to negotiate with you but we can do Evolving from workers to owners The growing number of businesses repre sents an evolution in the immigrant commu nity from worker to business owner according to Pedro Solis owner of Guadalajara Grill I came here when I was 15 and Im 40 now I know that when you come here as an immigrant you think you have to work for somebody said Solis whose restaurant opened nine years ago one of the first Mexi can restaurants in town But now people are thinking differently They think we have a right also to get ahead to have our own businesses Its evolving Its getting bigger and its going to be he added Personally Sous isnt too happy about the new competition Were getting he said It used to be just us El Palenque and Mariscos La Playa Now there are so many res taurants I cant count them all I dont know how were going to Solis said he has been harassing the state Environment Department to inspect mobile food carts which he claims are unsanitary Thirtyfour mobile units have Environment Department licenses to operate in Santa Fe The department inspects the carts at least once a year a department employee said Juggling jobs Mendoza said he decided to go into busi ness because he got tired of working for other people He and his relatives pooled their sav ings to open the store But Mendoza figures hell be even tireder than usual for quite awhile Hes keeping his job at Albertsons where he starts his work day at 3 baking bagels and doughnuts throughout the night then manning the store after he gets off at 11 am His family partners in the business are also hanging on to their jobs as house cleaners and construction workers I figure it will take two or three years for the business to gain Mendoza said Another new business owner Sofia Trejo is juggling her two jobs as a nurses assistant and housekeeper with selling shoes with her sisterinlaw at Zapatos Gala Its a lot of work but its worth it because you have to move forward in Trejo said Jesus Marquez worked for 15 years in res taurants the last six as a cook and manager at the Village Inn before opening his sandwich shop Tortas Chihuas in June I got tired of it I wasnt going he said I have three kids and I noticed that there werent too many places here where you can take the family for an affordable meal like there are in Denver or Marquez said Our most expensive dish is Norma Valdez director of the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund said she started seeing an increase in immigrants applying for loans about a year ago Her agency manages SantaFes Small Business Development Loan Fund which has in outstanding loans to 30 businesses in Santa Fe Valdez said immigrants are still a small sec tor of the business she works with but their presence is growing I think in Latin America where there is not a lot of employment opportunities people are used to having to sell something to get Valdez said And so theres a lot of entrepre neurship and people are willing to do it no matter how many hours they have to Mariola Mendoza a native of Chiapas Mex ico is typical of the Latin American style of micro business that Valdezs agency and other lenders are increasingly supporting Mariola Mendoza sold candy and sodas out of her apartment at Las Palomas complex until the complexs manager shut her down After that she sold bedspreads out of the trunk of her car and cosmetics the Mexican and Guatemalan women like she When she was finally able to open her busi ness at Rufina in a strip mall of mostly Mexicanowned businesses anchored by the popular Alicias Tortilleria she named it La Tiendita The Little because thats what my customers used to call my apart The bedspreads she used to sell out of her car are heaped on the floor the Avon and Mary Kay catalogs are piled on the counter and giant Snow White pifiatas hang from the ceiling A few doors down Blanca Uribe coowner of Pan de Vida Bread of Life bakery on Rufina Circle said her husband first went to banks seeking a loan to pay for ovens and other kitchen equipment He filled out but we never heard back from Uribe said The couple was able to get a loan through ACCION New Mexico an Albuquerquebased nonprofit organization that provides loans of to to borrowers who are consid ered either too risky or too small potatoes for regular banks Business is business The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce has taken note of the immigrantowned busi nesses but so far hasnt had much success in recruiting members from that sector said Simon Brackley vice president for public affairs Weve not been as responsive as we should have been but were certainly paying attention to it he said Despite language and cultural barriers Brackley said he believes business owners face the same issues regardless of their ethnic ity Business is business no matter where youre But immigrant businesses are different in at least one respect At most clothing stores in Santa Fe you cant buy an international calling card or wire money around the world All the Guatemalans come said Greg Nava who is of Mexican descent but grew up in Denver He runs a housecleaning service as well as upholstery shoe repair and record shops all with different names out of a small storefront on Rufina Circle But converting American dollars from immigrants paychecks into Mexican pesos Guatemalan quetzales or Salvadoran colones is a good side business Nava said He collects S4 of the service fee the California wire company Sigue charges to send up to to Guatemala Furniture store owner Andres Mendoza drives cartons of goods to California From there they get sent by cargo ship to Central America It costs about to send a large box which he said is cheaper than the post office He said such specialty services draw customers to his store But whether immigrants in the long run stay loyal to the momandpop stores run by their compatriots remains to be seen Asked where she does her own shopping La Tiendita owner Mariola Mendoza answered Sams Club Its Contact Barbara Ferry at 9953817 or Immigrantowned businesses that have recently opened in Santa Fe Muebleria Familiar 1624 Cerrillos Road July inexpensive furniture from a California based catalog Zapatos Gala 3567 Cerrillos Road Septem ber shoes for all ages boots huaraches Tortas Chihua 3568 Cerrillos Road June Mexican sandwiches tacos enchiladas Patetoria El Tropicd 1622 St Michaels Drive April homemade Popsicles Mexican style corn and fruit salads A second loca tion on Airport Road scheduled to open in October La Tiendita 1314 Rufina Circle August 2004 giant Snow White pifiatas Avon and Mary Kay cosmetics candy bedspreads Encantos Boutique 1897 Cerrillos Road April highheeled sandals gowns tank tops Road November 2004 corn tortillas dried chiles Pan de Vida 1314 April Mexican sweet bread decorated cakes for quinceneras and other special occasions El Mercadfto Latino 1242 Siler Road products from Central and South America Tortilleria Cuauhtemoc 3693 Cerrillos Anahis Fashions 1711 Llano Street April womens clothes and accessories Biancas Boutique 1915 Cerrillos Road July 2004 dressup clothes for weddings quinceneras baptisms and wedding acces sories La Cabana 3252 Cerrillos Road August steaks and seafood Las Salsas 2400 Cerrillos Road March Mexican food   

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