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Shop a triumphant return for British motorcycles

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The British Invasion is still going strong – on Albuquerque’s West Side, that is.

Two fellows named Scott Metcalfe and Scott Cloninger, both longtime motorcycle enthusiasts, are co-owners of a newly opened business called Triumph of Albuquerque, which will focus on sales and service and financing a customer’s dream ride.

Lovers of the British-made motorcycles will be happy to know that a new dealership is revving up again after a previous retailer closed up shop a while back.

“It’s a brand-new ownership group,” said Ben Nolte of the Allen Sigmon Real Estate Group, who, with partner Thomas Mortensen, helped broker the deal for the new business, which is located at 5201 Quail NW, a commercial space formerly occupied by NAPA Auto Parts.

This new business is flying the Triumph Albuquerque banner.

“The site was a real eyesore,” said Mortensen of the roughly 6,000-square-foot standalone building that’s been empty for about five years. The brokers said John Kynor, a residential broker with Q Realty, connected the Allen Sigmon team to the two Scotts.

“The location is perfect,” said Nolte, who predicts the Triumph dealership will be a destination retailer for devotees of the brand. “It’s right off the freeway, so it should bring folks from around the metro area, as well as the state,” he said.

In addition to Metcalfe and Cloninger, who has also worked for many years as a motorcycle mechanic, the team hired six employees to provide “premium customer service,” Metcalfe said. He expects the business to do well in New Mexico, where the climate helps foster a “10-, 11-month riding season.”

“We love bikes; we both race,” said Metcalfe of the owners. In addition, “as a single-line flagship dealer, we intend to provide a very high level of customer service.” He expects the response to be “tremendous.”

Most of the latest Triumph models are on display, Metcalfe said of the dealership, which will sell and service motorcycles from classic used bikes to modern rides as well as purveying clothing and accessories to complement an owner’s machine.

The business has four demo bikes so customers can test a Triumph. A lounge is also on site for customers to kick back with a cup of coffee, check out the merchandise on offer, and watch videos while their rides are serviced.

“We have two different finance partners” for those Triumph customers needing loans to fund their dream machine before hitting the open road, Metcalfe said.

The heat is on

Idaho has potatoes. Georgia has peaches. And New Mexico has Hatch green chiles.

As consumers’ taste buds heat up, so has the demand for hot pepper varieties, which is good news for the owners of a fledgling business called Paulita’s New Mexico products.

Interest is heating up for the award-winning marinades, salad dressings, sauces and seasoning blends, said owner Alan Porter, whose wife, Paula and a half-time employee whip up the product line from a commercial kitchen next to their Rio Rancho home.

The couple, lifelong foodies, are delighted with the growth of their homegrown business and its acceptance by the eating public, and are always looking at adding to the product line.

After nabbing several Scovie awards (a nickname for the Scoville scale which measures the pungency of peppers or other spicy foods) at recent competitions, the Porters have seen several local retailers come on board. They include The Fruit Basket on 4th Street and Rio Rancho Meats.

When the product is rehydrated, cooks can make green chile stew, corn chowder or any number of New Mexican-style entrees.

“We’re also talking to two distributors,” said Alan about getting the product on more shelves at upscale grocery stores, gourmet and specialty retailers, gift and gift basket retailers around the state. The products are also available for ordering online at www.paulitasnewmexico.com.

Steve Sinovic covers the retail, hospitality and tourism beats for the Journal. He can be reached at ssinovic@abqjournal.com or by calling 505-823-3919.

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