After surviving COVID-19 restrictions, The Family Market hopes its best days are ahead
Locally-run market opened on March 14 as pandemic restrictions threw the economy into chaos
FARMINGTON — Isaac Flores is grateful The Family Market survived the recent economic storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and will go on to see six months of operations — because he was once on the brink of losing his livelihood.
Flores, the store’s owner, opened shop on March 14, just three days after COVID-19 was confirmed to have reached New Mexico.
Because the statewide COVID-19 restrictions hampered his ability to promote his store, combined with fears of not knowing how to deal with larger groups of people coming in, Flores said he came close to shutting down his business in May — which also coincided with San Juan County’s peak for COVID-19 cases.
“We were not getting enough customers. We were not selling enough. We had the problem with COVID. We had the problem with the vendors,” Flores said.
However, The Family Market — a locally-owned supermarket, Mexican restaurant and pizza parlor — survived the business impacts of the initial outbreak and subsequent implementation of strict state health order rules. The store is now inching closer to Sept. 14, the official six-month anniversary.
With grocery stores deemed an essential business, The Family Market, located at 1907 E. Murray Dr. in southeast Farmington, serves as an alternative to chain grocery stores. That way, those who reside in the southeast section of town don’t have to travel as far to do shopping.
“We have a lot of compliments from older people coming into the store and being able to shop at their own pace, buy everything they need,” Flores said. “They were very happy, glad that they didn’t have to go all the way to the center of town to go do their grocery shopping.”
Residents in the southeast side of town came in to buy groceries more often from May onward, which helped keep the store open.
“That was when we decided just to stay open and ride it out,” Flores said. "On this side of town, it’s unfortunate that there’s not that many places where people can sit down and eat… That way, the neighbors have somewhere to come and eat close to their house.”
Now that indoor dining is allowed at 25% capacity statewide, Flores hopes sales from the restaurant component of his store will gradually increase.
Flores said The Family Market’s trying to establish itself as a go-to place in southeast Farmington to shop and eat.
The store is taking extra precautions in order to survive any subsequent COVID-19 case surges that might develop, devoting every Monday to deep cleaning and sanitation work.
The Family Market’s revised hours, which will run through at least this winter, are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 on Twitter at @MattH_717.
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