B Street Market in Mountainair plans to reopen in about a month, even as a loan it is counting on is in doubt.
Nancy McCloud has been raising funds to bring Mountainair’s only grocery store back to life, and so far has come up with about $150,000, she said.
That was largely through a crowdfunding campaign online. Late last year, McCloud decided to pursue some funding that comes from the federal government through to electric cooperatives for rural economic development. She approached the board of the Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative, or CNMEC, for a loan to purchase the building.
McCloud has a vision for B Street Market that includes nutritional education and homemade fare, along with staple items. She plans a community garden and nutrition classes, and to offer organic and local produce.
“There has been a huge amount of support in the community about getting this grocery store back into existence,” McCloud said Tuesday. She’s hoping that people will call CNMEC in support of the loan. “We’ve had yard sales, people volunteering to clean and paint and get it going,” she said. “One woman called me up and donated $23,000—and she doesn’t even live here yet—to help the people in the community. That’s a huge gift.”
McCloud said the electric co-op “is going on the assumption that if a large corporation can’t keep it going it’s not a viable business.” She said the nimbleness of being a small company will make it more viable than a corporation running the grocery store from afar.
The loan, for $225,000 to purchase and renovate the building, would be paid back in 10 years at 1 percent interest, McCloud said, if approved.
The money flows to CNMEC as a grant to form a revolving fund for economic development projects in rural areas.
Because a fire Dec. 20 destroyed most of the block B Street Market sits on, including three businesses, McCloud feels the project has extra urgency for the town of Mountainair.
McCloud said she will go forward with or without the loan, and hopes to open by the end of May or sooner.
To find out more, contact 505-847-1123 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or search for “B Street Market” on Facebook. The store also has a website, bstreetmarketllc.com.
The crowdfunding campaign is still active and can be found at tilt.com/tilts/reopen-b-street-market.
A call to CNMEC for comment was not returned by the time The Independent went to press.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at email@example.com.