Oilfield, agricultural supply store reopens
BLOOMFIELD — Business owner Kim Martinez said an upcoming 2-mile phase of a state Department of Transportation road-widening project along U.S. Highway 64 prompted her to relocate her family business from west of Bloomfield to near the town's center over the summer.
Starting in June, Martinez began moving thousands of pieces of inventory for her business, Basin Pump and Supply Co., to a location two miles east and closer to downtown Bloomfield. Basin Pump's former location on U.S. Highway 64 is situated at the spot where a continuation of the roadwork project is slated to begin next month.
Martinez, who saw how businesses along the highway in town were hurt by an earlier phase of the multi-year, $16.5 million construction project, said the move was strategically designed to avoid the road construction.
Basin Pump and Supply took over the shuttered Construction Supply Co. location along the town's main thoroughfare, and Martinez said she was grateful for the added room of the larger storefront and inventory yard.
The store reopened its doors on Oct. 1, but Martinez admitted that the job of bringing her large inventory of oilfield and agricultural supply items was taking a lot longer than expected. She said she's still busy moving miles of irrigation pipes; centrifugal, submersible and trash pumps; sprinkler systems; water tanks; fountain and pond systems; valves, fittings and thousands of other items to her larger yard.
Martinez, who lives on agricultural land east of downtown, has a deep affection for windmills. Basin Pump supplies several varieties of windmills — some for pumping water, others that are purely ornamental — including a 1-foot-tall model she sells near the front counter.
On Thursday, her brother, Mike Titus, and two workers erected a 15-foot windmill — with a fresh coat of red, white and blue paint on its tail and fan blades — in the yard of her business. Martinez said she hopes the structure, which also stood at her former location, will make people notice her arrival.
Next year, the store will celebrate 40 years in business. The parts supply store and repair shop was opened in Bloomfield by Martinez's father, Lloyd Titus, on Newby Lane in 1976.
Martinez came to work at the store alongside her father and took over the business more than 20 years ago when her father retired. She said the store relies on the oilfield for business, but industry downturns like the current one mean diversifying is essential to her staying afloat. Almost half of her sales are from people buying irrigation pipe and supplies, she said.
Martinez plans to continue to innovate by offering a complete catalog of her store's items as part of a more exhaustive website this year, she said. Customers will be able to peruse her inventory online, which she said was a necessary way of reaching customers at any hour.
She doesn't do "anything exciting but farm at home" and takes only one week off each year to help run swine, quilting and other exhibits at the San Juan County Fair. She has been on the fair board for nearly 30 years. Her mother was former Bloomfield Mayor Carol Halvorson.
Asked what else helps sustain the business, Martinez said it's giving customers the feel of home.
"When you go to any of the box stores or big people, you don't get a cookie and a cup of coffee. That's just the way it is," Martinez said, laughing, and pointing to the front counter in her store, which was piled with cookies, bags of potato chips, Halloween candy and coffee. "I think it's all about how you treat people. I treat everybody like they are family — unless they are the bad side of the family."
Many of her customers go back decades, including water well driller Mark Bailey, who runs the Bailey Drilling Co. in Aztec.
Bailey came by on Thursday to pick up pump parts for a client in Dulce. He said he likes the quality of Basin Pump's products over those found at box stores.
"I've been buying stuff here since 1995," Bailey said. "(Those) kind of stores are not really commercial grade, where her stuff's more commercial grade, twice as good. This store's got better windings and better wire, other parts. And she's nice."
James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.
What: Basin Pump and Supply Co.
Where: 912 W. Broadway Ave. in Bloomfield
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
More info: Call 505-632-1551 or go to basinpump.com