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Popular meat market ready to close
After falling on hard times, the owners of Hesperia Quality Meats are thinking of calling it quits after 25 years.
Citing a bad economy, landlord issues, health problems and an aging building that needs constant upkeep, owner Humberto Muñoz said he’s getting too old to be dealing with all the pressure.
Muñoz, who purchased the 40-year-old market, said his problems has resulted in his car being repossessed, his house in foreclosure and he owes the Internal Revenue back taxes.
“I really want to stay, but there is too much to deal with right now,” Muñoz, 65, said. “My clientele is almost 90 percent American, and it has been a pleasure to serve them and the entire community.”
Muñoz, who suffers from occasional anxiety attacks after a home invasion in 1992, is also dealing with a rent increase on his 1,000-square-foot building set between Mexican and Japanese restaurants on Main Street.
“Who raises the rent in this economy?” Muñoz asked. “Obama is not going to fix the economy. We need to help each other by working together instead of relying on the government. We also need to stop gouging each other for money.”
Muñoz’s wife, Carmen, said she would like to sell the store so the couple can move out of the country.
“We would like to retire and move to Guadalajara,” Carmen Muñoz said. “Business has been pretty good, but not like it was when we first opened our shop.”
After the opening of several meat markets and larger grocery stores in the area, business has slowed a bit, Carmen Muñoz said.
“We don’t have any capital to buy inventory or to run the shop,” Humberto Muñoz said. “If we had $50,000, we might be able to make it work, but if not we’re selling the shop.”
Since the couple announced their plans to close, regular customers have asked the couple not to leave, Humberto Muñoz said.
“They tell me that our store prepared sausage and carne asada for their parties, and that they’ve been coming here since they were kids,” Humberto Muñoz said. “Those stories really break my heart, but what can I do?”
Sue Moore, a regular customer of the shop since 1981, said she is sorry to see the shop close.
“They have the best carne and pollo asada in the High Desert, and for custom cutting and wrapping they do an awesome job. We were never disappointed,” Moore said. “We have been going to Hesperia Quality Meats since 1981 and we love Humberto and his family.”
For more information on the shop at 17144 Main St., call (760) 244-4141 or visit online at www.facebook.com/hesperia.qualitymeats.