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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Family comes first for the owners of the Village Market

by Kathryn Dunn | editor@claremont-courier.com

Carlos Jaramillo and Emilio Rodriguez, the owners of the Village Market, have spent their lives together. As first cousins—their mothers are sisters—the boys spent Christmases, birthdays and summers together both here in California and Mexico.

In December of 2018, the Village Market came up for sale so the two went for it. They have run the family business together, splitting shifts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day while balancing family life.

The young men have a lot in common—Mr. Jaramillo has two young children, so does his cousin. They share duties at the store with Mr. Rodriguez leaning toward the business side and Mr. Jaramillo focusing on merchandise. Both of them are 35 and were born just four days apart.

“We have always been close,” Mr. Jaramillo said. “He always came to Mexico or we always came here.”

Home life is good for both men—they’re weathering the stay home order pretty well with their kids and wives but, like all of us, Mr. Rodriguez says his kids are “just a little bit bored.”

The past year and a half at the market has been good. They admit it hasn’t been as busy as usual lately but say business is steady. Just before the stay home order went into effect was their top sales month since buying the store, receipts were nearly double than normal.

“From the get-go we thought people were just going to stay home, so I was a little surprised to see our regulars come in for lottery tickets and snacks,” Mr. Rodriguez said.

They found when the larger chain stores got overly busy customers began stopping in to quickly pick up essentials so they decided to expand their products beyond beer and snacks to include food items like milk, potatoes, fresh fruit, eggs and rice.

“It’s been great,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “We had to scramble at first to find new vendors but now we’re all set.”

And the future looks even brighter, they say. Two weeks ago they purchased new coolers and shelving so they can offer more fresh produce and grocery items.  Although sales have leveled out recently, they both say the store should make it through.

“We’ll be okay,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “We’re all having to slow down a little bit, which is good. And we really appreciate people coming in to support us.”

The Village Market is located at 370 W. Second St. in the Village. They’re open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. They can be reached at (909) 626-5546.

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