Category Archives: Retail

Building a Dream with Chocolate

Veronica Barrera-Cuellar with gift baskets prepared by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for special occasions. (VBR)

After managing 16 school kitchens in North Texas as a nutritionist, Rio Grande Valley native Veronica Barrera-Cuellar returned home with a dream of attending pastry school. She ended up selling chocolate. “I love pastry and I wanted to go to pastry school, but life happens,” she said. Needing to find a livelihood, she teamed up with her sister Patricia and began looking into franchise opportunities to start their own business.…

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Promoting a Passion for Fitness

Footworks owners Jun and Edith Ellorimo. (VBR)

It started as “a hobby business,” a vehicle for a husband-and-wife team of physical therapists to promote their passion for fitness. The vision that began in 2011 for Jun and Edith Ellorimo to get people “walking and running” is today a Footworks Start To Finish store with a wide community reach to go with a growing network of runners and cyclists. “It has gone beyond what we envisioned,” Jun said…

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Harlingen Farmers Market Expands in New Location

Workers put the finishing touches on a shade structure at the new location for the Harlingen Farmers Market.

Market reopens in two days Workers are racing to complete a shade structure before Saturday’s reopening of the Harlingen Farmers Market at its new location at First Street and Tyler Avenue next to City Hall. “We will have shade for 20 vendors,” market manager Kate McSwain said. “We have 32 vendors lined up right now. That’s a big increase over last year. I’m very excited.” The market will be open…

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New Look for Western Wear

Owner Sandy Pena and longtime Arcy Rodriguez

Sandy Pena’s love for downtown Weslaco runs deep and reaches back to her childhood when she and her cousins used to play summertime hide-and-seek in the adjoining buildings owned by her father and aunt. “It was our playground,’’ Pena said. “It’s where we grew up.’’ Those days of frolic are long behind her, and Pena today owns and runs the downtown store her father, Lionel Oliveira, started almost 60 years ago and still…

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Women Make Headway in Business World

Marlen Saenz

When Marlen Saenz began selling picture frames at a local flea market 12 years ago, she never dreamed her little business would grow to where it is now after receiving a $1.3-million SBA 504 Real Estate & Equipment Loan. At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we know business success can be achieved with the right tools. And Saenz is just one of the 54,773 reasons the Rio Grande Valley has…

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Old-Fashioned Customer Service

The Eiler family, Ken, Debbie, Loretta and Bob, stand in front of the store’s new paint department.

The store is clean and modern. At the same time, it stands as a testament to an era when the local hardware store stood as a community fixture. Borderland Hardware in Mercedes is among only a handful of locally owned, old-fashioned hardware stores left in the Rio Grande Valley. Owners Bob Eilers, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday; his wife of 67 years, Loretta; and son Ken and wife Debbie,…

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For the Love of Animals

Owner Leroy Moreno with one of his personal pets, an albino Burmese python. (VBR)

Moreno’s adapts to modern pet ownership A love of animals and their care keeps Leroy Moreno coming to work every morning with a smile on his face. The enthusiasm he has for his business, Moreno’s Feed and Pet Store in Weslaco, is contagious as he talks about his passion for animal husbandry. One of six children growing up on a farm north of Donna, Moreno remembers his father, Gus Moreno,…

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Bargain Hunters’ Delight

Brownsville flea market keeps customers coming back Every weekend people flock to more than a dozen flea markets around the Rio Grande Valley in search of bargains. The largest and one of the oldest flea markets in South Texas is the 77 Flea Market in north Brownsville, where hundreds of people shop, eat and enjoy the day every weekend. Taking the name from its location on Expressway 77, now also…

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Building Boats One at a Time

Cougar Marine at the helm of construction Bill Gagan started a fiberglass and composite fabrication company in a 600-square–foot shop in the Dallas area. Business boomed and his company became one of the largest fiberglass and composite fabrication companies in the world, operating out of a 115,000-square-foot building. Gagan holds several patents and copyrights and has fabricated high-speed racing boats, race car parts, components for Disney attractions, signs for franchise…

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Sweet Business: A Natural Approach to Success 

Wicked Good owner Jonathan Hogan added on to his house to create storage space for his growing product line. (VBR)

Wicked Good keeps it fresh and local After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Jonathan Hogan began applying for graduate programs and wondering how he would be able to pay for it. With time on his hands, he began experimenting with making marmalades, jellies and jams in the kitchen of his Mission home. At one point his father weighed in that the marmalade was so good he felt wicked eating it. Thus Hogan’s company Wicked Good was…

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