Category Archives: Retail

Boots are Made for Walking

Ryan Vaughan was recently promoted from general manager to president and chief executive officer of bootmaker Rios of Mercedes. (VBR)

From his catbird seat of an office, Ryan Vaughan oversees three brands of boots that are made and crafted by hand every week at Rios of Mercedes. The iconic Rio Grande Valley company traces its roots back to Zeferino Rios, the father of boot making in the region. The three companies operating under one extended roof today at Rios are continuing that legacy – and doing so under the leadership…

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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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Thrift Store Helps Victims

Customers browse racks of used clothing at Repeat Performance, which is open Monday through Saturday on Jackson Street in Harlingen. (VBR)

One of the shops along Jackson Street in downtown Harlingen is a thrift store that not only recycles old clothes and other merchandise, it fosters new beginnings for victims of domestic family violence and sexual assault. The small retail outlet is operated by the Family Crisis Center of the Rio Grande Valley. “Repeat Performance generates revenue that comes back into the center to help us run the center,” said Laura…

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McAllen Toys R Us Site Redevelopment

The former Toys R Us site adjacent to La Plaza Mall in McAllen will soon undergo redevelopment by Houston-based Murdoch Capital LLC and Parkway Partners. Property plans have not reached finalization, but the partners report positive feedback in the preliminary stages of its marketing. “McAllen has a strong reputation for high retail sales volume, so we jumped at the opportunity to purchase this site as soon as it became available,” said…

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Prescription for Success

Adrian Cervantes parlayed the success of Mid-Valley Pharmacy into another business, RGV Hometown Pharmacy in Harlingen. (VBR)

Success pushed Mid-Valley Pharmacy to a new location in Mercedes this year. Robert Zamora, John Hinkle and Adrian Cervantes had purchased the pharmacy in 2004 Even when the pharmacists bought the business 14 years ago, the pharmacy building was small. “People were used to going there,” Cervantes said. “We struggled with the idea of changing locations, but we outgrew the space. We needed something better for us, for our employees…

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Organic Growth of a Business

Russon Holbrook left an international banking and financial services career to return to the Rio Grande Valley and help build the family business. (VBR)

Russon Holbrook lived the go-go life of international banking and financial services. It meant many days away from his family, managing investment portfolios and relations with frequent trips to Mexico. In 2013, Holbrook gave all of that up and did something he vowed never to do. He returned to the Rio Grande Valley. The lure of the Holbrook farming legacy in the Valley brought him back. It started with his grandfather,…

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All in the Family: Salsa

Rebecca Garcia with jars of Blanquita’s Salsa made using her grandmother’s recipes. (VBR)

Rebecca Garcia was born into a large extended family with roots in Monterrey, Mexico. Her grandmother bore 11 children while her grandfather started a restaurant business, serving up barbacoa and other Mexican specialties from a small trailer. The family migrated north to Nuevo Progreso and eventually to the Harlingen area, along the way building and growing a restaurant business that thrives today. Starting out in trailers much like her grandfather…

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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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Designing Iconic Texas Art

Ida Rodriguez holds a work in progress, a decorated steer skull, in her South Texas Longhorns studio. (VBR)

With a dream of becoming a fashion designer, Ida Rodriguez started out designing and sewing her own clothes. Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley town of Alton, she was one of a family of seven with a father who was the sole provider, and a strict patriarch. In her early 20s she had an opportunity to attend fashion design school in Dallas, but her father said no; she needed…

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