Local businesses buck national trends

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By Carol A. Clark

The following businesses have bucked local and national trends and expanded operations in the Los Alamos area: Aspen Copies, Bennett’s Fine Jewelry, CB Fox, Central Avenue Grill, Coffee Booth, Cook’n In Style, De Colores, LA Fitness, Morning Glory Bakery, Pet Pangaea, Radio Shack, Top Nails and UPEX.


Dave Fox of CB Fox expanded into CB Fox Kidz three or four years ago next to his existing store on Central Avenue.


“We expanded because of the need for more goods in Los Alamos,” Fox said. “That’s always the driver – that’s the only driver.”


The CB Fox children’s section previously occupied an area on the first floor of his three-level store. The increased  demand for furniture and mattresses led Fox to move and expand his children’s section into an adjacent store.


While the third floor remains stocked with furniture and mattresses, Fox is now able to display furniture on the first floor as well.


“In the long-range view since the fire and our expansion, I am enormously gratified,” Fox said. “Clearly Los Alamos wanted it. Currently there is a downturn at CB Fox but it’s not as severe as other parts of the country by any means with the national, political and economic decisions and the rhetoric expressed from Congress, which has run amuck as far as I’m concerned. I think the Executive branch is in good shape and if we can keep Congress from mucking up the public conversation that issues from the White House, Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, I think people will regain their own economic footing and resume their reasonable consumption as they always have.”


Bennett’s Fine Jewelry expanded from UPEX when the owners saw a need as well.


“When the other jewelry store in town closed, we wanted to give something back to the community and knew they would be without a fine jewelry store,” said Melanie Bennett who with her husband has owned UPEX on Central Avenue for 10 years.


The Bennett’s daughter, Alison Bennett, manages Bennett’s Fine Jewelry, which celebrated its two-year anniversary Feb. 7.


“We support 17 local artists and showcase their work in our store,” Alison said. “We offer reasonable prices and while we started out small – we keep expanding.”


The Bennett’s have added jewelry appraisal, custom work, and provide special items such as watch batteries.


“We’re just trying to be here for the community and hope they’re here for us,” Melanie said.


The ebb and flow of businesses opening and closing is a normal part of any town, said Executive Director Kevein Holsapple of Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation.


In a recent presentation to participants of Leadership Los Alamos, Holsapple listed the following businesses that have opened during the last few years: Pet Pangaea, Ruby K’s, CB Fox Kidz, Bob’s Bodacious Barbeque, Cook’n In Style, New Mexico Dance Theater, Bella Cosa Flowers and Events, Reel Deal Theater, Papa Murphy’s, Bandelier Grill, EL Parasol, Wireless One, Drop It Here, ’50s Diner, Pyramid, Coffee Booth, Home Run Pizza White Rock and Starbucks.


Businesses that have closed in Los Alamos and White Rock the last few years include Allied Foods, Anderson Pharmacy, Andrews Gallery, Bikram Yoga, Blockbuster, Bloomin Shop, Café Allegro, Cliffdwellers (moved or down-sized), Dominos Pizza, Ed’s Market, Executive Cleaners, Gordons CDs, Heidi Anna’s, High Speed Dining, Hot Spot, Katherines, LA Café, LA Music, LA Signs & Sound, La Vista, Lala’s, LAMS White Rock Pharmacy, Lemongrass and Lime, McDonald’s White Rock, Napa (moved/consolidated), O’Henry’s, Pampered Pets Kennel, Pete’s Pets, Pizza Hut Right Rock, R. Books, Rocky Mountain Automotive, Salsa Y Son, Sew Enchanted, Sunrise Bakery, Tarpon’s Steakhouse, Tony’s Pizza, Trinity Beverage Company, Visions West, Wild Birds Unlimited and Yenni’s.