The question for Bob’s Burgers owners has to be, what’s in that special sauce that’s kept things going for 60 years? And for Buckland Pharmacy’s owners, what’s your prescription for 118 years of success?
With the N.M. Legislature in session, and lawmakers debating how to best diversify our economy and attract new/support existing job creators, we would recommend they consider the insights of those who have not just survived but thrived.
As Bob’s Burgers celebrates the six-decade anniversary of its opening, the Salas family now has 11 locations and more than 150 employees across the state. In Belen, Buckland Pharmacy is closing its doors as owner/pharmacist Richard Brower retires. These businessmen and women have decades of insight into what works, and what’s challenging, for those trying to do business in New Mexico.
New Mexico lawmakers need to pick their brains and listen to them.
The Salases focused on hard teamwork in a Jan. 28 Albuquerque Journal front-page profile. Brothers Bob and Tom, along with their wives, have been “the chief, the cook and the bottle washer” for generations of employees.
Tom’s son, Clifford Salas, started working at Bob’s Burgers when he was 14 and with his wife now owns seven of the locations. “We’re family first, business second,” he says, quoting his late father.
Brower shared in a Journal Business Outlook profile Jan. 30 that “Bucklands is about community. It has thrived because of community service. The people who worked at Buckland Pharmacy (whether it be doing internship from UNM or after school work or long term) over the years have been from the community and taken pride in providing the best service they could. Bucklands is about community because when patients or customers came in, they knew the staff. The staff at Bucklands has not had a high turnover over the years. People at Bucklands stayed and worked long term.”
And while those insights emphasize the hard work and dedication to community endemic in small businesses, everyone who’s tried to open, started, run and/or closed a business in New Mexico knows there’s so much more to it. From state, county and city regulations to tax structure, construction inspections to building codes, it is essential for our state representatives and senators to hear from those on the front lines — the Salases, Browers and more — if they are to make systemic changes that deliver for business owners, their employees and customers.
The 2023 legislative session runs through March 18. Information on proposed legislation as well as contact information for lawmakers is at nmlegis.gov. We urge lawmakers and business owners alike to reach out so this session is a productive one for business — as productive as Bob’s Burgers and Buckland Pharmacy have been for New Mexico.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.