MEEKER | Country Raised is still alive, under new management, to the delight of its dedicated patrons.
There was a collective sigh of sorrow among area shoppers in June when Makala Barton, founder of Country Raised, announced the store would be closing as she took on greater responsibility at the county.
One of those shoppers was Meeker native Samantha Lopez. “I’ve always loved stores like this,” Lopez said. When her son Landin and husband Mike both suggested asking Barton if she would be willing to sell the business, Lopez made the call.
Within just a few weeks, she was taking her first foray into retail, and has hit the ground running with Barton’s help. “Makala has backed me every step of the way. She’s helped with everything. I couldn’t ask for a better person to follow.”
Their families share a history that spans 60 years, as Barton’s grandparents and Lopez’s parents were close friends. Lopez remembers flying to Nucla to visit Barton’s grandparents when she was a child.
Lopez also serves as the airport project coordinator for the county. “I was raised at the airport,” she said. The Meeker airport, Coulter Field, is dedicated to her father, Gary, who managed the airport for 54 years.
The store, at 610 Main St., will continue to sell the popular Country Raised T-shirts and scented candles, as well as carrying many of the same brands and vendors, with a few new additions.
Country Raised is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Lopez plans to open on Saturdays during special events like the sheepdog trials.
Special to the Herald Times