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New ventures come to downtown

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Team Leader Letty Martinez says all educational-based assistance provided by the CHI St. Joseph's Children program for first-time parents is free. The nonprofit organization is based in Albuquerque but now operates in seven New Mexico counties. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Several new businesses have opened or announced their intentions to open soon along the main downtown business corridor in Roswell.

The Apple Blossom Flower Shop plans to open Wednesday at its new downtown location, said co-owner Jacqie Craig, holding daughter Zoe Grace. The shop, which has been in Roswell for nine years, is a family-owned business. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The North Main Street locations between Fourth and Second Streets will have a flower and novelty store, a candy store, a health-oriented juice bar and a free educational and outreach program for new parents.
Those enterprises join a couple of businesses that had announced their openings earlier. Sean Clark and Jen´e Simpson Clark said in May that they intend to open the Cosmic Salad buffet restaurant at 209 N. Main St. Renovation of the space is still in process. Stardust Antiques, Arts and Artifacts indoor mall reopened earlier this month under the ownership of Paula Schurle in her building at 208 N. Main St. after the Roswell Antiques Mall closed operations there in June.
Among the four businesses relocating or planning their moves recently are CHI St. Joseph’s Children at 323 N. Main St., a nonprofit organization that provides free in-home visits, counseling and information to new parents. CHI stands for Catholic Health Initiatives, and the program started in Albuquerque but has expanded to cities in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, Cibola, Doña Ana, Luna and now Chaves counties.
Team Leader Letty Martinez said that parents or guardians can sign up for the program during pregnancy and up to two months after the baby is born. Once enrolled, they are eligible for free in-home visits until the child is 3 years old.
“The goal of the program is to have children enter kindergarten who are healthy and have the capacity to succeed in school,” said Martinez, a former second-grade teacher in Rio Rancho who has worked with St. Joseph’s for three years doing home visits.
The assistance provided includes educating parents about child development, health, nutrition and exercise; monitoring the child’s growth and development; modeling good parenting skills; teaching what are considered best practices, such as regular prenatal care, breastfeeding, immunizations and limited TV watching for children; and providing referrals to other professionals, agencies or organizations as needed to help both the child and the parent.
Martinez said that sometimes people can participate even if the child is not the first. For example, parents who are having their first child in the United States can qualify, as can grandparents or other relatives caring for a child. Sometimes if there is a significant gap in time between having a child, parents can enroll as well, Martinez said, and, if a father has had a child, but the mother hasn’t, they can still qualify.
“Our program is totally voluntary,” she said, “so if someone signs up and then decides that they don’t like it or they don’t feel that they have enough time, they don’t have to stay.”

A few doors south, the Apple Blossom Flower Shop plans a Wednesday opening, having relocated to 309 N. Main St. from 404 W. College Blvd., where the family business has operated for nine years.
Weather damage to their former store location caused them to look for a new site, said Jacqie Craig, who owns the business with her family, including mom Lynn Townsend. Her father also will run his accounting business, Hank Townsend CPA, in the North Main location.
The floral shop offers fresh flowers, home décor items, candles, hydro-aromatherapy items, chocolates and other sweets, and gift items. The shop also provides flowers for weddings, quinceañeras and funerals.
“There are other shops, so we want to be unique,” said Craig. “You won’t find our things at the grocery store.”
Another local business intending to relocate to downtown is Alegria Candy Store. The business plans to move into the former Ginsberg Music Co. store at the corner of North Main and Second streets after renovations to the building, which sustained significant damage from Winter Storm Goliath in December 2015.
The building at 201 N. Main St. is now owned by local businessman Saul Aguilar and his wife, who also own Los Cerritos Mexican Kitchen in north Roswell and other business interests.
The Alegria Candy Store, which also sells piñatas, now operates in the 400 block of South Main Street and has been in business seven years.
Sol Juice and Supplements is also new to the downtown area, having opened at 305 N. Main St. in June by Goddard High School and New Mexico Military Institute alumnus Jonathan Solis.
The juice bar is a family venture and sells smoothies and blended juices, as well as supplements and vitamins.
“I am a healthy individual, and I want to give everyone else an opportunity to be healthy as well,” said Solis, who said he used to work in the oil and gas industry.
The smoothies and juices are made from fresh and raw vegetables and fruit, he said, and can replace meals and provide an energy boost.
Kathy Lay, executive director of MainStreet Roswell, said she is pleased that businesses are seeing the “promise” of the Main Street area, adding that three other businesses from outside Roswell have inquired about downtown locations in recent weeks.
“To me, it is really exciting, and it suggests that people are having confidence in the economic development efforts in the downtown corridor,” she said. “A lot of (Main Street businesses) are doing well, and that makes me feel very good.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.