Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Two young entrepreneurs explored ideas on how to improve the city for the imminent New Year on Christmas Day in downtown Roswell.
Daniel Cederberg and Jacob Molinet, roommates and friends, biked down to Stellar Coffee Co., where they are both currently employed, to pick up something. Both of them said they identify as young entrepreneurs and plan on helping the city of Roswell change for the better.
Cederberg, 23, said he moved to Roswell three years ago and was drawn to the city by the arts scene, his job at Stellar, his family and the manageable cost of living. Cederberg was born in Bethesda, Maryland, lived in Israel for 10 years with his parents, who were missionaries, and then moved back to Wisconsin. He and his wife Megan moved here in one car without much money and few possessions.
Currently, Cederberg helps in the art studio with pottery at the Roswell Museum and Arts Center, has an internship with a metal artist in town, and occasionally attends Christ’s Church.
Jacob Molinet, 23, grew up in Roswell and said he has seen many changes over the years. Molinet is a musician, worship leader at La Gracia de Jesucristo, and has his own landscaping business.
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“One of the great sayings that I have heard is the place is only as good as the people around you,” Molinet said. “That’s what it is all about. I would like to have an impact on lives — whether that be a little kid, one life, or be it more than one life.”
Stellar Coffee and art
Both of the young men agreed that working at Stellar was a positive and busy experience. Cederberg is a manager of Stellar Coffee Co. and he said, “I think Stellar is a community center. It’s my job as the manager just to know my stuff, know the city, know its issues, and try to fix them. I’m looking at the city and I am thinking it will be like Santa Fe one day. That’s my vision for the place as a young entrepreneur, so hopefully, that will happen.”
Molinet, who is a barista, said, “You get to meet a lot of different people, hear their life stories, and it changes your perspective about life in general. As a whole, Stellar has been helping out with a lot of different events and helping this community.”
Cederberg said he knows many of the people who have gone through the Roswell Artists-in-Residence program because they come to the coffee shop. He said that art is connected to Stellar.
Homeless for the holidays
Gesturing toward the two homeless men at the courthouse, Cederberg said, “It is difficult for the homeless when the season is colder to find places of shelter. Often times they will go into abandoned buildings, which is illegal, or sleep under the bridge and get exported out. I heard the new ordinance will not allow the homeless to camp within city limits. What is good is that the Roswell Homeless Coalition just made around $20,000 to bring the two shelters up to code, making them livable, with pest control, making sure they have beds that resist bed bugs. It’s money and money well spent.”
Cederberg continued, “If businesses don’t want them walking around town, then at least they should give money to the homeless shelter. I think it is in everyone’s best interest to accept the homeless into the community. Some people are really just trying to get back up on their feet. You can tell the difference between a tweaker and someone like that. That’s evident, but you can’t be afraid of them. They need help and not a lot of people are willing to do it. Those that are doing it — good for them.”
Cederberg mentioned Geneva Martinez and Mark Green’s hard work for the homeless. Cederberg said he remembered a quote from Green, which said that a majority of homelessness comes from trauma or loss.
Cederberg said that Stellar is accepting donations to benefit the Roswell Homeless Coalition until the New Year. Stellar will match the donations received. Cederberg also said if a customer spends $25, they will receive 20 percent off.
“Growing up in a Christian community, we had several homeless people come to our home,” Molinet said. “You basically could say they became part of the family. They would come and knock, and we would say, ‘Mom, your other son is here.”
Molinet said his parents set a really good example of taking care of the homeless and he remembers people coming over asking for food, to use the phone, and that often times the homeless weren’t very well clothed.
“The takeaway is that nobody wants to be in that position, but for any reason, if I were to be in that position I would want to have someone to help me,” said Molinet.
Future for Roswell
Cederberg said coming to Roswell was a welcoming experience and sees everyone working to create a culture here. He said he enjoys his Main Street life and hopes the UFO fest in the summer will be a success.
“Food trucks — that needs to be encouraged,” Cederberg said. “That’s good stuff. It is going to make our festivals better, especially locally. I just hear that it is hard to be a food truck around here these days.”
Due to working downtown, Cederberg said he sees that Main Street is busy and full of life. Even though it was Christmas, groups of people were walking downtown, a troubadour played guitar on the corner of Second and Main Street, and two homeless people sat on the curb near the Chaves County Courthouse. Cederberg said he enjoys biking and walking around town.
“We need to be making our streets busier,” Cederberg said. “People need to see this isn’t a ghost town, but it’s actually a funky, functioning town, with people talking and having a good time. Reischman Park is amazing. They did a great job on that. A lot of bands will play there, especially on First Friday. That’s getting really good. A lot of families are coming downtown.”
For future changes in the city, Cederberg said he thinks liquor rules should be loosened and better bike paths and trails would be ideal to encourage foot traffic.
“More people are walking around,” Cederberg said. “I am trying my best to be visible on a bike to encourage anybody else in a car to get on their bike and start biking. The more people see other people biking — it gives it a big-city feel. Plus it creates a healthy community.”
Molinet also sees the value in better bike trails and thinks combining the Spring River Recreation Trail and Hondo River Recreation Trail would unite both sides of the city and give people a way to be involved in the community.
Molinet said the currently larger population allows for more interesting things to happen in the city. Family, responsibilities and a desire to make Roswell a better place keeps Molinet in Roswell.
“As I can see, Roswell has definitely been growing,” Molinet said. “One of the things I have seen is a change in perspective from younger people. More people are actually wanting to stay here. Back in the day, everyone wanted to leave. Nobody liked this small town. They were like, ‘Let’s go somewhere where the party is at, where the life is, where we can actually do things.’ And now it is more along the lines of, ‘Let’s make this what we want it to be. Let’s make this place amazing.’ Everyone has their own ideas and people are trying to put a signature to Roswell.”
City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.