Category Archives: Professional Services

Helping People Clean House

Ruben Balboa with furniture and other items stored in Balboa Auction Company’s new location in downtown San Benito. (VBR)

With the rapid-fire rhythm of an auctioneer’s chant, Ruben Balboa cajoles buyers to bid higher and higher amounts to acquire the merchandise up for sale. Whether selling a small piece of jewelry or a large antique chest of drawers, conducting a successful auction is an art form all its own. Balboa Auction Company of San Benito primarily conducts estate auctions and sales, although the business also holds monthly general auctions.…

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Warriors on the Move

Training For Warriors promotes group solidarity and camaraderie in its workouts.

The black-and-yellow of Training For Warriors of Harlingen has taken its fitness and nutrition program to a larger and new location. Bobby Muniz, a pharmacist and Harlingen school board member, owns and runs the program. Muniz has a passion for matching resistance training with the right kind of cardio exercises to improve the health and well-being of his clients. While training, he is also teaching them about nutrition. Muniz has moved…

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Converting Art to Boots

Henry Camargo in his shop working over leathers.

Henry Camargo dispenses with any high-tech gadgetry when it comes to making boots. After five decades of stitching, sewing, hammering and stretching leathers to make boots for celebrities and common folk alike, Camargo said he’ll stick to the time-tested basics of the craft. “I’m old school,” Camargo said at his Mercedes shop Camargo’s Western Boots on Business 83. “I do everything by hand.” By his side is his brother, Santos,…

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Sun Fuels Industry Growth

A solar roof installation on a building detached from the residence helps power an entire home in Mission. (VBR)

The scorching South Texas sun holds virtually unlimited potential to generate electricity, and consumer demand for solar power is on the rise. And while at one time about seven solar companies operated in the Rio Grande Valley, today there is only a handful, and only one of those is locally owned and operated. American Made Solar and Wind Technologies, based in Weslaco, specializes in meeting the demand for both commercial…

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Cooking in the Great Outdoors

An outdoor kitchen and entertainment area with fireplace designed and installed by Grill Street. (Courtesy)

Outdoor grilling is as popular as ever in the Rio Grande Valley, with greater numbers of people taking it well beyond simply firing up a gas grill or charcoal pit on the back patio to cook steaks, ribs, chicken, vegetables and more. A fast-growing segment is expanding their options to install outdoor kitchens, some of which are as well-equipped as the indoor versions. Ruben Castillo, an architect who moved to…

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Branding to Reach the Top

A group of Top Branding TV participants whose work has been documented on YouTube. (VBR)

Years spent in the media business made clear to Vanessa Sarabia that there is no lack of abundant young talent looking to make their mark, if only someone would give them a chance. Sarabia has a deep background in the media business that includes photography, magazines, event promotions and production of commercials. She used those platforms of experience to create a niche business that would connect to young talent in…

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A Warrior for Good Health

Muniz Rio Grande Pharmacy owner Bobby Muniz in his Harlingen store. (VBR)

In 2015, Bobby Muniz was praying and holding on to hope as his wife prepared to give birth to their youngest child, Ariel. Some doctors did not give the baby girl much chance to survive long after birth, but she did, with surgeries soon to follow to bolster her health. The miracle and joy of his daughter’s birth inspired the Harlingen pharmacist and school board member to re-examine his work,…

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Company Recycles Cooking Oil

Fatty Chem plant manager Hector Martinez stand in front of a company tanker truck and next to used cooking oil collection containers. (VBR)

Some jobs are said to be as clean as a whistle while others sound as dirty as a pig sty. One successful Rio Grande Valley enterprise that some people might consider to fall in the latter category is recycling used cooking oil. A Los Fresnos-based company called Fatty Chem By-Products Inc. bills itself as a full-service recycler of fats and oils, with some of the byproducts having been used in…

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Local Small Businesses Receive $100,000

STED grant winners with Hidalgo County Commissioners Court members

Five businesses in small and rural communities in Hidalgo County are the recent recipients of funding to consequently spur prosperity in their respective communities. The funding comes from Hidalgo County’s first-ever Small Town Economic Development program with grants totaling $100,000. More than 40 businesses applied to the program with 21 chosen to participate. Businesses receiving $20,000 grants are Reybotics, Green Thumb Nursery, Cappadona Ranch, Ashley Nicole Boutique and Hernandez Barns. “This economic…

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