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PEP Business Spotlights

January 2023


Colorado Mills

“The sunflower is one of the most easily recognizable flowers in our world. One of the unique characteristics of these flowers is that they turn their face to the sun, and the sunflower blossoms in the sun’s rays. Sunflowers stand tall, plain, honest, and upright.”

Tall, plain, honest, and upright… just like the business ethics and morals of Colorado Mills! Colorado Mills started in 1999, and now in 2023 has around sixty employees. From sunup to sundown these employees work seven days a week to produce sunflower oil and sunflower meal that is the main ingredient in numerous forms of livestock feeds. At the Mill, sunflower seeds go through a complete start to finish process. The seed starts from your local sunflower farmer, then go through the process of extracting the sunflower oil from the seed.  The oil is then refined to reach the finished product that you might just see in your kitchen.

Did you know that 75-80% of the crops Colorado Mills uses in their mill comes from local farmers? This provides diversity for the area farmers, gives them more stability knowing Colorado Mills will purchase their crops, and provides better pricing for the farmers. Sunflowers, being the main crop purchased by Colorado Mills, are a unique commodity for foods and use limited water to grow. While sunflowers are a simple crop to grow, there also come challenges. This is where Kent Wollert, Rick Robbins and Kevin Swanson are great attributes to Colorado Mills. Rick, Kent, and Kevin have done their research on sunflowers and provide education back to farmers on how to properly cultivate and harvest sunflowers along with advancing education on future sunflower farming practices. 

Community Involvement is a huge philosophy for Colorado Mills. They have hosted a Beef Day for the FFA and 4H groups in the area to explain their carcass results to them. This in turn teaches the kids how their animals are graded, along with providing information to these kids about what to feed their animals, and how to receive grade A results. In addition to working with local 4-H groups, Colorado Mills also works with Lamar Community College and West Texas A &M in their technical and equine programs. Not only does Colorado Mills work with kids but they also work with 150+ farms and 600+ ranches.  And in addition, Colorado Mills is very active with Economic Development groups in Prowers, Baca, Bent, and Kiowa Counties. Rick and Kent also sit on multiple boards and participate in multiple meetings throughout the entire community.

“Colorado Mills is just as committed to the community as they are to being profitable in their own business.” Explained Wollert. “We are here to provide a career, not just a job.” They are here to promote this area and keep growing their business, deepen the labor pool, and to provide opportunities for more and more to happen in our little community. “Yes, expansion is the idea. That’s where we are headed. We are starting to see more demand, and without expansion we may not be able to meet that demand.” Concluded Wollert and Robbins.

Colorado Mills has received numerous awards from Colorado Companies to Watch, to Colorado Biz Magazine, to receiving recognition from the County Commissioners, and I’m sure there will be many more to come. Colorado Mills has been a huge asset to our community as well as to the surrounding counties. Colorado Mill stands tall, does business that is plain and simple for its customers, they are as honest as they come, and they are moving forward and upright.

Lamar Outdoor Sports

Do you want to feel the outdoor experience of Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s without leaving Lamar, Colorado? Look no further! Lamar Outdoor Sports, formerly known as Mike’s Main Street Sports, is now officially open for business. The new owners, Todd and Sarah Horning moved to Lamar about five years ago and have provided numerous business ventures to our area. Lamar Outdoor Sports specializes in firearms, ammunition, firearm accessories, along with powersport parts and accessories.

You know that new gun you have been dreaming about? Todd can provide a higher level of customer service to make sure he can find exactly what you are looking for. When you go the city, you might not always get the expertise or purchasing experience you deserve, but Lamar Outdoor Sports will spend the time with the customer to make sure they get the best customer service possible. Todd and Sarah take their time with each customer to make sure their questions are answered, and their problems are resolved, so they know when the customer walks out the door that their needs were fulfilled.

With new ownership, comes new changes! Lamar Outdoor Sports has begun to increase their inventory, along with adding some unique items to their store front. Not only have they added items, but they are also acquiring a new facility to give their business a whole new look. They are making big investments into our 2nd Amendment right, as well as big investments into our community as well. Lamar Outdoor Sports’ philosophy is always doing what is best for the people. “Whatever you do, you have to keep what’s best for the people and community first!” Todd explained. Todd and Sarah work to build the relationship with the customer first because they themselves understand how important it is to have a specialized experience.

Additionally, they also understand how important outdoor recreation is in an area such as Lamar. Firearms not only provide pest control to farmers and ranchers, but they also provide great family sporting events. You always hear people say, “There’s nothing to do here...” Have you ever thought about shooting sports? For those who do not know, shooting sports are groups of recreational and competitive sporting activities that are judged by your accuracy, your speed, and your precision with certain weapons. Shooting sports is a great 4-H activity for people of all ages.

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) provide great outdoor recreation, and many benefits to our rural area. You may be a motocross rider or a farmer who is simply herding their animals, either way ATVs play a huge part in your role. Do you know where your local powersports dealer is? Right in the heart of Lamar! Lamar Outdoor Sports offers powersports as well as parts and accessories for your outdoor toys. Todd has been in the outdoor recreation atmosphere most of his life, so he has special expertise when it comes to powersports.

February 2023


J & N Shoes/ Mr. D's

“The average man owns twelve pairs of shoes, while the average woman owns a whopping twenty-seven pairs. That would make the national average about nineteen pairs per person.” According to New Dream. With a population of almost 12,000 in Prowers County, that would make the number of shoes sold roughly at about 228,000. Now that is a considerable number of shoes for one store to manage! Since 1961, J&N Shoes has been the shoe supplier for Southeast Colorado. Being one of the only independent shoe stores for miles away, J&N is a rare diamond.

In 1984 Jennifer Steward was attending college in Lamar, when Dave Riddle had reached out to her business teacher (Sue Root) and mentioned needing some help at the store. He wanted the teacher to recommend one student in the business class who she thought would be a good fit for this position. This teacher approached Jennifer and she thought this would be a good side job, and continued to work towards her education when finally, she decided to give J&N a chance to be her future. “There was an opportunity given, and I decided to take it. I didn’t know at the time this was exactly what I needed. It’s like it was meant to be!” mentioned Jennifer.  In 1992 Jennifer and her husband Jerry purchased 25% of the stock in J&N Shoes, then in 2006 they purchased the rest of the stock and have been sole owners since then.  

In 1992 J&N Shoes expanded by cutting a hole in the north wall and launching their sporting goods store, Mr. D’s Sports, and started carrying athletic shoes apparel and sports items. Different from Big 5, Hibbett Sports, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, J&N/Mr. D’s is a sit and fit shoe store that’s invested in their community! Their customers are not only friends, but family. “You get to hear the customer’s stories, you hear them talk about their family, their troubles and you hear them talk about why they choose the shoes they do. When most customers walk through the door you already know what size shoe they wear and what styles they prefer,” stated Jennifer. Being a lifelong Prowers County resident, Jennifer and her staff know what know what sports are being played by the season it is, and they can generally tell you what you will need for that sport. J&N Shoes is there to serve their customers and therefore they listen to what the customers want and try to supply that need.

In addition to shoes and sports apparel, J&N also does customized screen printing and tuxedo rental. Not only does J&N provide rentals to eleven different schools during prom time, but they also provide tuxedos for weddings and special occasions throughout the rest of the year. J&N Shoes currently employes a screen printer who can create personalized designs and products like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and much more for schools, family reunions, teams or anything you would like. Give them your idea and they can print it for you. They employ four salespersons, two who works five days a week, and three part time employees who assist in helping with trying on apparel, retrieving products that are needed for the customer, stocking the shelves, sizing the individuals for rentals, answering phones, conducting the sales, and changing displays and front window dressings. Along with these five employees is Jennifer. She works the floor, as well as does all the behind the scenes work at J&N. “It is more than selling shoes for me. My whole life, 39 years of it has been spent here serving people. It’s taken years, and lots of hard work but it’s worth every second of it! I really care about people and our community!" stated Steward.

From Under Armor to Adidas, Hey Dude to Ugg, Redwing Boots and countless other brands, J&N Shoes/Mr. D’s staff is here to serve your needs for footwear, sports items, sports apparel, tuxedo rentals and screen-printing.  "We care about our community and the people who live here. We appreciate their business, and we wouldn’t be here without them!”  Make sure you stop in and see Jennifer and her staff at J&N Shoes/Mr. D’s they would love to see you!

From the Owner Jennifer Steward:  I want everyone in this community to know that I truly appreciate all of their support for the last 39 years! I want you to know you are important, and are the reason J&N Shoes has been here since 1961... You want us here and support this business so that we can be here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!  

March 2023


Brew Unto Others

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot,” sings Gary Portnoy. Some days really do take everything you’ve got, so why not head down to Brew Unto Others where they can give you a break from all your worries with just one cup of coffee. Their Mission is to serve one another with Excellence & Integrity; Loving Each Other as Christ Loves us, offering a place of Hope, Peace & Unconditional Love for the Community to come together.

At The Brew you can get your coffee completely personalized, and the exact way YOU like it. There are numerous flavors including sugar free options to choose from, to create any combination you could possibly think of. Don’t like coffee? Don’t worry, they’ve also got teas, lemonades, and Italian sodas. Not only does Brew Unto Others serve beverages, but they also sell a variety of lunch and breakfast items baked from scratch. From breakfast burritos to cinnamon rolls, there are plenty of baked goods, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches to give you the fuel you need to get through your morning. The Brew serves a selection of specialty salads, gourmet sandwiches, wrap options, seasonal soups, and offers keto options in most of the menu items for a healthier appetite. Brew Unto Others really is providing a three-course meal by restarting the Brew Bundle in May, where you can purchase a meal to take home for dinner. This puts a whole new spin on ‘it’s my turn to cook dinner.’

The Brew is there to be present, to be seen, and to make a difference. “My dad has always told me if you want to make a difference, you have to get involved!” Explained manager Tera Bender. Brew Unto Others holds vendor markets throughout the year where they invite small businesses to come down and set up shop in their facility for the day and tries to bring everyone downtown to shop. They also host events to bring awareness to the community such as the most recent seizure training, and breast cancer awareness training. The Brew provides a facility for meetings, a venue for small gatherings, and does specialized catering for the community. They partner with many local groups, schools, programs, and have also provided Prowers Economic Prosperity with a place to host Brewing for Business.

The Brew staff is made up of six baristas, including Tera. “I have my crew who do an amazing job on the drinks, Hannah, and Alyssa. Haley and Hollie are the food professionals and take over the kitchen to provide yummy food to our customers. Lillie and Ateshia have the front-line customer service down and are fantastic with customers. Then Denisha, she is my go-to!” summed up Tera. A portion of the tips these baristas collect are donated to a local non-profit in our community that The Brew is passionate about, now those are some top-quality people. “We strive for top-quality customer service and top-quality products!”

“Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. And they are always glad you came,” as the Cheers theme song says. “Not only do we serve a great cup of coffee, WE know your name, and you ARE family to us,” explained Tera. “Brew Unto Others loves our community, and we love to serve each and every one of our customers!” Make sure you stop into Brew Unto Others, where everyone knows your name, and grab your coffee, breakfast, or lunch item just the way you like it.

April 2023


Wiley Processing

“Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” You’ve probably heard this a time or two, right? This slogan has been heard all over America since 1992, but rings especially true here in Small Town, America. Wiley Processing, LLC is a family-owned business right here in the heart of the plains. “We sit in the Southeastern portion of Colorado where farming and ranching are main means of survival,” explained Josh and Jana Weimer, owners of the operation. The significant shortage of beef processing plants has fueled their desire to own and operate Wiley Processing, LLC in September of 2021. “In the past we have processed anything from lambs to goats, sheep to rabbits, and we’ve even processed some yaks! Our focus now has been on beef and hogs,” stated Josh.

At Wiley Processing, they can custom process animals to the customer’s wants and needs. “If they want all hamburger, we will get them all hamburger. If they want steaks, we get them steaks. It’s really about what the customer wants,” stated Jana. Wiley Processing became USDA Certified on March 20th and is now able to sell individual cuts at a very reasonable price. They are also in the process of becoming certified for individual retail sales of hogs and are wrapping up the process of being able to accept EBT Cards as well. Currently, they offer a variety of cuts such as chuck center roast, chuck steaks, ribeye roast bone-in, ribeye steak bone-in, back ribs, ribeye steak boneless, brisket flat, brisket point, skirt steak, porter house steak, T-bone steak, boneless strip steak, tenderloin steak, flank steak, top sirloin steak, tri-tip sirloin, petite sirloin steak, top round steak, bottom round rump roast, eye of the round roast, London broil, ground beef, cubed steak, and have six different gourmet hamburger patties. The gourmet hamburger patty flavors are pepper jack jalapeno, green chile, hatch green chile cheddar, garlic and onion, and jalapeno popper and mozzarella. Is your mouth watering yet? Wiley Processing dry ages their meat for fourteen days then places it in their freezers for selling, however they do have the ability to dry age meat for up to thirty days if you want a more flavorful product. Not only do they provide wonderful-tasting food, but they also provide top-of-the-line customer service. You are greeted as soon as you walk through the door, and once the customer pays, the entire staff pauses their work, grabs up their bags of product, wheels the product to the vehicle, and then loads their vehicle for them. That is what you call service! Not only do they provide this service locally, they transport box trucks to three different locations through the month to disperse meat to other communities as well.

“We love to offer services for our local ranchers. We provide a good source, and high-quality beef products at Wiley Processing,” explained the Weimers. Currently, most of the animals they are processing are raised and located in about a twenty-mile radius, which covers areas in Kiowa, Bent, and Prowers County. Community is extremely important to Josh and Jana. “Working for this small family-owned business has given not only me, but others in the community steady work and helped support local events. Our customer base is vast and being able to accommodate all customers has given the customers fresher, home-grown products, and a plethora of choices rather than big name chain stores. Being a part of something that contributes so much is a good feeling!” stated Paige Lindo, a Wiley Processing employee. Not only are they feeding locally raised beef to their community but between the two of them, they sit on the Sand and Sage Fair Board, Wiley School Board, FSA County Committee, Eads Co-Op Board, lead a 4-H Group, and coach Rec Football and Baseball. Wiley Processing participates in the 4-H Livestock Sale during the Sand and Sage Fair, gave hayrides during Christmas time last year, and provided a pumpkin patch with their own home-grown pumpkins for some of the local children. They have also paired up with one of the instructors at Lamar Community College to allow students to come out to their facility to further enhance their hands on studies. Last, but most important of all, they have provided sixteen employment opportunities for citizens in our community. Those jobs are made up of deboning, trimming, slaughtering, managing the employees, packing, labeling, weight management, payroll, cleaning, and plant management. “Family is important to us. If you coach, or your kids have ball games, or you have important events you need to be at, you go. That’s what is important!” stated Jana. At Wiley Processing they provide careers, not just jobs. “They take care of me like I’m their own. They will go out of their way to do anything for me and never ask for anything in return. I’m very blessed to have them in my life!” explained Colton Reed, a Wiley Processing Employee.

One of the largest assets of Wiley Processing is the start to finish product. Wiley Processing teams up Wiley Ranch Beef to bring their own animals into the processing plant. “It’s so unique to be able to feed the cattle your crops that you have grown, watching them grow up in front of you, then processing your own animal. You know exactly what they’ve eaten, and how they’ve grown. It’s a start to finish process. We pride ourselves in having complete control of the entire production process to ensure we deliver the highest quality products to our customers,” stated Josh. These products can be found in their facility on hand and ready to go, and you can hand pick the exact steak that you prefer. It can’t get much more customizable! They have online ordering available where you can choose a time that is convenient for you to order and pick up.  That’s convenient! They also post Special Bundles with amazing deals on their Facebook Page. Keep your eyes open, because those sell out quick!

Here in the heart of Prowers County, Josh and Jana know how important beef really is! Is all this talk about beef making you hungry? Make sure you check out Wiley Processing and all the tasty products they have to offer. Wiley Processing and Prowers County truly believe, “Beef, it’s STILL what’s for dinner!”

May 2023


Lamar Workforce Center

June 2023

“Tiny but Mighty,” these three words can be used to describe our Lamar Workforce Center. The center is made up of four individuals all working together to solve one of the largest economic issues in the world, WORKFORCE. Jordan Schwartz works in helping with all the youth programs, Jennifer Graves works with their adult programs, Elva Macias works in the Migrating Population Program, and Don Yoxsimer works with The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.  

According to Population U, Colorado’s population is estimated to be about 5.87 million. Colorado has a current unemployment rate of 2.8%, that makes the unemployed population about 162,400 people. That’s a tough job for the workforce centers in Colorado. Let’s break this down a little bit! Currently, the population in Prowers County is 11,834 people. Here in Prowers County, we have an unemployment rate of 2.20%, which equals out to about 260 people in Prowers County.

Aside from helping with the unemployed workforce, they provide a large variety of free services when it comes to helping the community. These services include job listings, computer and internet access, career counseling and training for job seekers, recruitment of workers, pre-screening, referral services, tax credits and training reimbursement for employers, customers options where they can choose self-service or staff assisted options to meet their employment needs. “We have some wonderful programs that no one in the area has even tapped into yet! We have programs for nursing students who have no financial aid options. We have programs to help get the youth enrolled and started at an early age, as well as programs for individuals to have a background with a history. We can get them job ready and back into the community,” explained Jordan.  The Workforce Center has several programs to help existing businesses such as Labor Market Data, customized hiring events, wage reimbursement programs, paid internship programs, targeted marketing and outreach, employer workshops, and provide the businesses with access to qualified job seekers through the Connecting Colorado Database. All these no cost services, along with more are listed on their website or can be explained in person at the Lamar Workforce Center.

From helping with resumes, to educating businesses on programs available to help with their workforce needs, The Lamar Workforce does it all. “There are so many things that are not in our job description, but we go the extra mile to do them anyways!! We try to provide the best customer service we can,” explained Jennifer. The Workforce Center is currently open Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. Jordan and Jennifer are in the process of being more active in the community, whether that be participating in school events, or simply just volunteering in the community. “We are working as hard as we can to build back our reputation. We are here, we do exist. We have so many services to offer, and we would love to help you!” concluded Jennifer and Jordan.

If you are looking for a job or are interested in advancing your career opportunity, make sure you visit Jordan and Jennifer at the Lamar Workforce Center. You can also visit the Lamar Workforce website at “We are here to help you!” stated The Lamar Workforce Center.

Main Street Shoppe

“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two? Oh, the Candy Man can,” sang by Sammie Davis Junior has now been brought to life right in the heart of downtown Lamar Colorado by one couple. James Cline and Kelly-Ann Dewey purchased Main Street Shoppe in February 2023, but this is not their first rodeo. James and Kelly-Ann have been in the business world for about 4 ½ years now and they have hit the ground running working to transform this business. 

At the Main Street Shoppe, you can find homemade candy, gourmet popcorn, and in the upcoming months there will be rolled ice cream as well.  From ranch flavored popcorn, to cherry, spicy jalapeno to birthday cake, the flavor possibilities are endless! In fact, there are 70 different flavors to choose from! Truffles to lollipops, gummy butterflies to a jawbreaker you must hold with two hands! There is a unique candy to fit everyone in the house. “Our business really is one of a kind!” stated Dewey and Cline. “We are here to provide for the public a product that is reasonable priced, and really try to pull our community together. We are here to provide good service at an affordable price, and our focus is just to be kind to one another!”

Currently Kelly-Ann and James run Main Street Shoppe as a family business. They have one other employee, who is considered family, and she works 24 hours a week manufacturing, labeling, and doing most of the behind-the-scenes work. “She’s our rockstar!” exclaimed Kelly-Ann. Other than that, James and Kelly-Ann do it all. Some days they are up before the sun shines making popcorn, then working late nights to ensure the wholesale popcorn gets sent out to the customers who order online. Now, this is a whole other topic we have not even discussed yet! Yes, they do wholesale popcorn as well! The Main Street Shoppe is constantly sending popcorn across the states left and right. I bet you did not know they did that right? Not only are they shipping popcorn, but they are also shipping out manufactured packaged goods, or in other words their candy.

James and Kelly-Ann do not have much free time after running two businesses and working on the complete remodel of their newest purchase, but in their free time they are currently helping to provide foster care as well as volunteering to help with the elderly. “We really are trying to get out and about and be present in our community! Being present is what matters the most here in our little town. That and being kind to each other!” continued Kelly-Ann.

“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with Kelly-Ann DEWey, cover it with James Cline and a miracle or two with all these big changes? Oh, these two candy men can!” Make sure you stop in and visit these two and check out all the new changes coming to Main Street Shoppe! “We want to be a community shop. We are here for the community, and we want your input when it comes to what we sell You tell us what you want, we will try to produce it!” - Kelly-Ann and James

July 2023


Thoughts In Bloom

Sympathy. One simple word with multiple different meanings and emotions. But for one small floral business in Prowers County, sympathy is the heart of her business. Thoughts In Bloom made its first debut on July 1st, 2004, here in Lamar, and Melissa Bohl has been blooming ever since. Literally!

Sympathy: unity or harmony in action or effect. “God gave me the talent to comfort,” stated Bohl. Sympathy isn’t just a word for the girls at Thoughts in Bloom, it’s an everyday occurrence. “We know everyone in our community, and when families come in to prepare for funerals, we will sit with tears in our eyes right alongside them,” shared Melissa. Fresh cut flowers, potted plants, greeting cards, home décor, and numerous other gifts give you plenty of options to shop for when it comes to any special occasion you may have.

Sympathy: the inclination to think or feel alike emotionally or intellectually. Did you notice there was no mention of balloons? Now let’s talk about this form of sympathy that Melissa not only has sympathy for humans, but animals and wildlife as well. According to Sustainable Jungle, balloons can take anywhere from six months to six years to start to degrade. Then to fully biodegrade, it can take fifteen years or longer. That’s a long time for balloons to float around in our environment. Aside from balloons, the vases you receive your flowers in are not recyclable. You may be wondering what do you do with them then? Well, we have the answer for you! Thoughts in Bloom offers a recycling program where you can donate all your old vases back to her and she reuses them in different arrangements. “We owe it to each other to take care of each other!” explained Melissa. By offering this recycling program and avoid balloons, she is doing just that.

Sympathy: the feeling of loyalty and the tendency to favor or support. “It takes a village!” exclaimed Bohl. When it comes to the small community of Lamar, every single customer counts. “As a business owner, I shop locally. I try my best to encourage everyone to shop local!” continued Melissa. Do you need flowers today? Do you want to have your own personal message attached? Do you want to be able to write your own card? Thoughts in Bloom can take care of all of that! You can pick your budget. You can customize your arrangements the way you want. If you want eleven red roses and one pink rose, she can do just that. You can’t get that kind of service from amazon. “Due to the logistics, I can’t make everything possible at the drop of a hat, but if you give me three weeks, I can put anything in the cooler you want!” stated Melissa.  

Sympathy: an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other. Happy and sad, joy and pain, brand new jobs to retiring after 50 years, brand new babies to funerals of lifelong residents, these floral artists have loads of work to keep them working nonstop. With all this work, Melissa can’t do this all by herself. She currently has one full-time lead designer, TaNisha Graham Cfd, who works hand in hand with her and does it all. “Nisha is amazing! She knows just as much as I do!” she exclaimed. TaNisha and Melissa have both met the requirements to be classified as Certified Floral Designers. How cool is that? Joining this dynamic duo is one more girl in the beginning stages of learning the ropes of the floral industry. She is still in high school, so she gets to enjoy her Fridays off from school in the flower shop. Between these three ladies there are tasks of processing the flowers, maintaining good quality of the flowers, designing of the arrangements, care and maintenance of the plants on the showroom floor, and providing customer service by running the retail store. They really do it all! In Melissa’s free time, which isn’t much after putting in sixty-hour work weeks at times, she has put countless numbers of hours into helping build floats for the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California every year and along with that has participated numerous times in the parade itself. To top it all off, in July Melissa was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers. What a wonderful achievement Melissa!

Sympathy. One simple word and multiple different meanings and emotions. Weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, prom, even your first day of work, Thoughts in Bloom has been there with you through it all. “We don’t just deliver flowers, we deliver compassion. I love what I do, and I hope everyone loves what I do!” stated Melissa. Make sure you stop in and visit the ladies down at Thoughts and Bloom when you need a personalized gift. “Expressive thoughts, beautifully portrayed.”

August 2023

Cornerstone Resource Center

September 2023

“Our Mission is to strengthen and empower individuals and families through connections to resources and services that develop confidence and knowledge to live successful lives and facilitate growth in our communities.”

When hearing this statement one word comes to mind: connector. If you Google synonyms for the word connector you will find words such as adapter, bond, joint, junction, link, and tie. These words all have one Prowers County business in common, The Cornerstone Resource Center. The Cornerstone Resource Center strives to support residents of Southeast Colorado in accessing the help and support that they need to grow, develop, and lead healthy lives. They currently provide basic needs assistance to individuals and families in need, as well as Family Development Services.

“Our vision is strong and resilient communities where all individuals are accepted, empowered, self-reliant and thriving.”

Currently, The Cornerstone Resource Center offers Resource and Referrals, Early Intervention, Kinship Navigation, Car Seat Safety, Parenting Classes/Support, Life Skills Classes, Babysitter Training, First Aid/CPR Training, Application Assistance, Assistance with Applying for Benefits, Mobile Unit (The Cornerstone Connector), Social Security & Disability Assistance, Family Friends and Neighbors, Child Development Activities, Basic Needs Assistance, Family Development Services, Budgeting Classes, Respite Care, Dental Education, and Support for Seniors.  The Cornerstone Resource Center does everything from delivering commodities for the elderly, to hosting Santa for Seniors, which is an event where they deliver donations from the community to the seniors in the nursing homes around the holidays. The go from providing support groups for families and individuals in the community, to running a diaper program for families with small children at home who need diapers. They have so many other great programs. “We are here to help anyone; we aren’t just here for certain people!” stated Rosie Gomez.

Rosie is now the Executive Director for Cornerstone Resource Center. “I am a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child!” stated Rosie. Currently, Cornerstone employs six individuals who help add to that resource village. Michelle Harris is the Family Development Manager, Kara Downing is the Early Intervention Coordinator as well as the Early Childhood Programs Manager, Ruby Roman is the Data & Finance Coordinator, Alexandra Elwin is the Service Coordinator for the Early Intervention, and Teresa Salazar is the Front Desk Smile as well as the Family Navigator. “We wear a lot of hats,” continued Rosie. “The Cornerstone Resource Center is a safe place for individuals to come to get assistance with filling out applications, to find the recourses they may need, and to get help in navigation to programs they are looking for.” The Cornerstone Resource Center is currently located in Lamar, but with the addition of The Cornerstone Connector they are now bringing resources to Baca County, Kiowa County, and parts of Bent County. They also provide bilingual staff to help bridge any language barriers there may be in our community.

The Cornerstone Resource Center has become an adapter, a bond, a joint, a junction, a link, and a tie for our communities in Prowers County. They are truly there to help anyone and everyone. Cornerstone Recourse Center is celebrating their 3 Year Anniversary, Monday October 2nd, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm in the Cornerstone Resource Center parking lot and hope you will all come out and join in the fun!

Historic Lamar Theater

October 2023

“Lights, Camera, Action!” This line is generally used in the background of a movie theater to declare the start of the motion picture, but for one family this has become the line of their lifetime. Right in the heart of downtown Lamar, Colorado sits the Lamar Theatre. The Lamar Theatre was opened on November 15th, 1946 as a single screen theater with seating from 832 people by Charlie Yeager. C.U Yeager managed the Atlas Theatre Corporation, who hired Charles D. Strong to design and build the theatre. This theatre was Mr. Yeager’s first theatre. After C.U. sold the theater, it changed hands three times before falling into the hands of the family who would continue to run the Historic Lamar Theatre for almost three decades.

“Picture’s up!” Let’s go back to 1994, when it all started for Rick and Tina Ross. New Years Eve was their first night of business as motion picture film exhibitors. “Movies, movies, movies, and popcorn!” exclaimed Tina. “We wanted to provide a place where people could come to forget their troubles for a while and have some fun,” she continued. For 29 years Rick and Tina have run the Lamar Theatre but that doesn’t even begin to explain Rick’s experience in the cinema industry. Rick’s family has been providing entertainment to our region for numerous years now. They owned the theater in Baca County from the time Rick was three years old. He grew up in the theater popping popcorn until he was old enough to go off to college. During college he came home on weekends to help the family run the theater and this is when he became the film buyer for the theater. This family has become stewards of the business. “Theaters are a very unique business,” stated Rick. He has continued to keep cinema in the family by adding his wife Tina, and daughters Anna and Abigail. “Now my daughters have grown up here,” he continued. “Growing up in the theater was the best experience for my sister and I. It felt like my second home. I was able to go with my parents to work every day, which isn’t a common experience for most kids. I made connections with people in the community without even realizing it at a young age, I didn’t know a stranger, I liked to sit on a stool by the ticket counter and say hi to everyone who came into the theater. I would watch every single movie, every single night, I would learn my favorite part of the movie and save my candy for that specific part of the movie. As a grew older, I took my best friends with me to the movie, those memories are special because my friends still have those memories too, it was a shared experience,” stated Anna. “Growing up in a movie theater was such an amazing and unique experience! I have definitely seen a lot more movies at a young age than most, but most of all it has been so great to call the theater my second home. Now that I am away at college one of the things I miss most is the theater! I feel like every time I think about the theater, I think of a different memory. Since it is getting close to the holiday season, the memories that come to mind right now are my parents putting up all the Christmas decorations in the theater and having the free Polar Express matinee! The Polar Express matinee is one of my favorite traditions my parents have done with the theater. It is always so great to see the community gathered together watching a movie in the holiday spirit!” exclaimed Abigail Ross. “We have floods of memories!” Added Tina.

“Roll the tape!” “It’s not all glamourous,” continued Tina. Most of their days start long before the movie begins. “We aren’t just here at night.” explained Tina. Throughout the day Rick and Tina take care of numerous tasks preparing for the evening show. “My favorite core memory is going with my mom and dad to clean the theater during the day when I was young, before starting school. I’d make them play music over the speakers and I’d dance around on the stage while they cleaned,” explained Anna. From booking films to staying up to date on maintenance and upkeep, stocking concession stands to breaking down films after they have been shown, this entertainment industry is hard work. Then the real work starts. Doors open, tickets start being sold, popcorn has been popped and customers are being served as the trailers are showing, and the movie is beginning to start. As everyone is enjoying the movie, Rick, Tina, and the crew are working away to make sure the customers are receiving the best entertainment experience they can. “We don’t want you to have to do the hard stuff,” mentioned Tina. Serving popcorn, preparing film, pouring fountain drinks, dishing out pickles, helping children pick candy, coating cheese popcorn, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning the cinema, and rolling film. The list goes on and on. Did you realize all the work that was put into one night in the motion picture business? “When you run a business there are no breaks,” started Tina. “Since 2002, we have dedicated one week every year that we will shut down the movie theater so we can go on family vacation,” added Rick. In 2012 the movie theater decided to switch to digital films, which in turn made their job a little bit easier. They no longer had to break down film after showing movies, and it made for a much smoother process when it came to showing movies. “We have tried to keep up little by little as time has gone by. We have made improvements here and there over the last 29 years,” explained Rick. In 2020, the entertainment industry came to a halt when COVID made its way into the US causing the theater to shut down for a short time frame, but this didn’t stop the Ross family. They continued to run the business by making concessions only to get through the pandemic. “My parents have loved their job, they’ve loved being a family business, giving back to Lamar, and just tried to create an environment that allowed other families to create memories. I am so thankful to have witnessed their hard work and dedication that it took to run a successful business for so many years!” exclaimed Anna.

“Enjoy the show!” The theater crew contained anywhere from six to eight employees, working two to three hours a week for approximately two to three hours a day. Up until the last day of work, there were three high school students and rounding out the six to eight employees were part time workers with other full-time jobs. The work shift consists of taking tickets, working concessions, cleaning up the trash in the theater, and keeping the facility clean. One of the biggest perks of working at the theater is getting to see all the movies for free. “The employees become your family. This is generally their first job, and they begin to start working with the public. Because they get to work here in high school, you get to watch these kids grow up and blossom!” noted Rick and Tina. “Our longest employee, one of our managers, has been working for us for 20 years now! We have been here long enough we get to see the different generations coming in to enjoy the entertainment. In fact, we have a former employee who has moved back to the area and now brings her daughter back to the movie theater,” continued Tina. “In addition, all of the theater employees have really become like my family. There are so many memories I have of the theater that will always be special to me!” stated Abigail.

Roll Credits! With every motion picture comes an ending, but with every ending comes a new beginning. The Ross Family concluded their last night as motion picture exhibitors on October 26th, 2023, but the memories will continue forever. The current theater crew will continue to work for the new owners when the theater reopens on November 10th, 2023. Rick and Tina will continue to hang around the movie theater until about December to help the new owners learn the ends and outs of the business. “If I could offer one piece of advice to business owners it would be to take time off and go do things, because 29 years goes by fast! Keep supporting the new owners. Keep coming to the movies and buying popcorn. Thank you all for the memories!” ended Tina.

Thank you, Rick and Tina, for all you have done for our community!

“There’s no business, like show business!” finalized Rick Ross.


Prowers Economic Prosperity

In the Middle of Everywhere, on the crossroads of Highway 287 and Highway 50, in the heart of the Ports to Plains Corridor that connects Mexico to Canada sits Prowers County, Colorado. Yes, you heard that right, “The Middle of Everywhere.” Prowers County spans 1,644 square miles and includes the communities of Lamar, Wiley, Carlton, Granada, Holly, Hartman, Bristol, and Kornman.

“In the Middle of Everywhere” may be heard time and time again out of the mouth of Cheryl Sanchez, Executive Director of Prowers Economic Prosperity. Prowers Economic Prosperity, also known as PEP, has taken this slogan on as their motto. In September 2016, economic development was revitalized in Prowers County. The public and private sectors came together with a shared vision outlined in the Prowers Economic Prosperity Plan.  The plan was developed after a six-month research process done by Progressive Urban Management Associates.


Prowers Economic Prosperity (PEP) now represents business and economic development interests within Prowers County. Our organization provides assistance to new and existing businesses with retention, attraction, and expansion needs. We assist in finding appropriate sites or suitable buildings based on the clients’ needs. We aid with any necessary permitting and help new developers walk through the process of planning, zoning, incentive negotiations, and other business development issues. Aside from some of the basics, PEP offers conduit assistance to new business startups, existing businesses wanting to expand, and existing businesses that are vital to our communities simply continuing to remain open.


PEP is made up of a Board of Directors formed from 24 contributing members at friend, investor, supporter, and contributor levels. All levels of membership include board participation, a seat at the table to voice opinions, and access to PEP Committees such as BEAR (Business Expansion, Attraction, and Retention), Workforce Development, Housing, and ARC (Additional Revenue Streams). Contributor level membership includes a spot at the table for board voting and decision making. PEP accepts monetary, as well as, in kind contributions. All contributions of $250 and more are eligible for Enterprise Zone Tax Credits. What is the Enterprise Zone? The Enterprise Zone Program was created by the Colorado legislature to help build economic development in rural, distressed areas of the state. Enterprise Zone tax credits vary by contribution amount, as well as the form of the contribution.


The Business Expansion, Attraction, and Retention Committee tours Prowers County businesses to build relationships with our existing business community, help businesses who are planning to grow expand, and to aid in any way our businesses may need. In 2023, BEAR Committee toured 21 of our existing businesses and have a new slate ready for 2024. Last year, PEP provided technical assistance to around 60 businesses and entrepreneurs, 102 new jobs have been created because of new business startups, and many existing businesses are planning to expand with the potential of creating 100 new jobs in Prowers County.


Prowers Economic Prosperity has two employees in the office, an Executive Director and a Project Coordinator who help facilitate all board activity, provide conduit services, and keep the office running smoothly. Their daily tasks range anywhere from helping business startups, to connecting businesses to a realtor to purchase their business, from planning grand openings, to celebrating retirements, and from internal meetings, to cohosting events such as a career fair and job exploration. But the work doesn’t stop there! Last year, Prowers Economic Prosperity joined in a Regional Housing Project, Ark Valley Flats, to bring 6 homes and 7 duplexes to Prowers County, and with the help of their partners SECED (Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development) they facilitated an EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant for cleanup of blighted properties. PEP was also awarded an Opportunity Zone Video Spotlight Grant in 2022, that was used to develop a professional video of Prowers County in 2023 for the purpose of prospecting companies and enticing individuals to relocate to the area. Prowers Economic Prosperity has also received a Redi Grant and is currently working on a feasibility study for Sewn Goods Manufacturing in Prowers County. The Executive Director was selected to attend the Select USA Summit. This is the highest profile event in the United States for foreign direct and domestic investment. “Working with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade at the summit to make valuable connections for future economic development projects was the highlight of the event,” stated Cheryl Sanchez. PEP built capacity by hosting Brewing for Business monthly on the first Thursday of every month and increasing their social media presence by writing monthly spotlights on businesses. Prowers Economic Prosperity continues to work on many other initiatives such as broadband, brownfield, water and wastewater projects, housing, as well as other infrastructure projects. “Every day there is always something different taking place around the PEP office,” mentioned Tallie Harmon.


Prowers Economic Prosperity is a lot of things to our investors, business owners, community members, and government partners, but it seeks to facilitate economic development—of all kinds and in all Prowers County communities. As a 501c3 non-profit, it has the opportunity to approach economic development non-traditionally. With limited staff in office, it is crucial that PEP includes YOU as an active participant on one of our working committees or as a “birddog” for leads that bring expansion and new business to our communities. Simply, PEP is Prowers County working together to build our future. I guess you could say, Prowers Economic Prosperity is “In the Middle of Everything” and Prowers Country truly is “In the Middle of Everywhere!”


If you would like more information on PEP or would like to become a contributor, contact us at or 719-931-2144, or stop in and see us at 223 South Main Street, in Lamar, Colorado.

January 2024

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P.M & Sons

Cummins, CAT, Detroit Diesel, Hydraulic, Exhaust. Do any of these names sound familiar to you? For one small business in Prowers County these words are a lifestyle.  Sheldon Pearson, Delbert Pearson, and Shawn Page brought this family-owned business to life 8 years ago and continue to offer high-quality, reliable diesel repair and mobile assistance to Southeast Colorado!

“We specialize in heavy-duty diesel machinery & trucks. With over 60 years of experience, we’ve got the bumper-to-bumper experience you need. We are your trusted partner for a one-stop shop for everything diesel. From tractors to the biggest semi-trucks, we can handle it. No job is too big or too small for our guys!” Heavy equipment repair, truck repairs, tractor repairs, diesel engine repairs, roadside assistance, fleet repairs, air brakes, clutches, heating and cooling, coolant systems, drivetrains, EGR, DPF, SCR, DOC, oils and fluids, suspensions, transmissions, and heavy-duty axels are just the start of daily work at the shop. “We are here to serve our community at the best prices. There’s nothing we don’t do!” explained Ashley Pearson.

P.M and Sons currently house five employees. Chris Regis is the Parts Manager. He outsources parts and does lots of part research. Then comes the face of the office, Ashley Pearson. She does all the accounting and works in the office to fulfill all the daily needs. Rounding out the team follows the three owners, Delbert Pearson, Sheldon Pearson, and Shawn Page. Delbert is the brain of the operations and has been working in mechanics since he was 24. The owners all run the shop and manage all the daily functions as well. “We are blessed! All our mechanics are mechanically inclined, and you can’t always find that very easy these days!” exclaimed Ashley.

When they aren’t at the shop you can normally find them out supporting farmers and ranchers, and organizations such as FFA, 4H Programs, The Lamar Chamber of Commerce, even helping with the nursing home BBQ. Volunteering is extremely important to them. “I’m the face of it all,” continued Ashley. Supporting the community and promoting local are at the top of P.M and Son’s list. “We have to work together, because if one goes down then we all go down!”

Need to repair your truck or your entire fleet? No problem! Our certified technicians have got you and your crew covered! Waste no time, call now or book service online. “We are here for all your diesel needs!”

May 2024


Lamar Lanes

June 2024

Walking through the front door you can smell fresh oiled lanes. The lights are dimmed, and flashes of color are racing around the walls. The music is cranked up, and there’s a happy vibe throughout the entire building. You can smell fresh pizza that just came out of the oven and can hear the fountain soda pressurizing as pop is being dispensed. A loud rumble of a heavy ball being tossed down the wooden lane, with the crashing of pins coming shortly after. There’s noise from people cheering over the thrown strike on lane 5, and boos of disgust coming from lane 1 from someone who just threw a ball right into the gutter. Do you know where you’re at yet? Yep, you guessed it. Lamar Lanes!

But wait, bowling with the lights dim and a party atmosphere? That’s right! This would be Cosmic Bowling. Cosmic Bowling takes place on Friday and Saturday evenings, along with the Cosmic Bowling COED Fun League and gives a fun and relaxed experience for people of all ages. Not your cup of tea? No worries! Monday Night Men’s League takes place during the fall, and Queen Pins, otherwise known as Women’s League, are much more competitive and serious, and yes, the lights will come back on for these leagues. Every year, Lamar Lanes hosts a children’s league on Saturday mornings, and they are excited to announce they are introducing a high school bowling team to the community. This program will encompass all local school districts, including Lamar, McClave, Wiley, Granada, Holly, Springfield, Goal Academy, and those who are homeschooled. “High school bowling offers numerous scholarship opportunities, and we are enthusiastic about contributing to the future success of our participants!” Mentioned Katy and Arnulfo.

You’re probably thinking this doesn’t sound like your typical bowling alley. That’s because co-managers Katy Jacoby and Arnulfo Ortega have given Lamar Lanes a spin of their own. Phillip Hall, the proprietor who resides in Wyoming, has presided over the business since 2014. Given his distance, the day-to-day operations are overseen by managers Arnulfo Ortega and Katy Jacoby. With their tenure dating back to 2022, Arnulfo and Katy have demonstrated a fervent commitment by improving Lamar Lanes and by bringing in new aspects to the business. “At our bowling alley, we specialize in creating memorable experiences for our customers. We pride ourselves on offering a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere where individuals and groups can come together to enjoy the timeless thrill of bowling,” stated Katy.

Need a venue for a birthday party, bored on a Friday night, or needing somewhere to take your family who’s in town for the weekend? They’ve got you covered. You want to know the best part? You don’t have to bring anything but yourself. They have shoes you can rent, and they have multiple different bowling balls to choose from. “It might not be the perfect fit, but we can get you one that’s close!” stated Arnulfo. Hungry? They have plenty of snacks to feed your appetite. Thirsty?  They’ve got bottled drinks and a fountain soda machine to keep you hydrated. Must spend a family event with your crazy aunt? They’ve even got drinks to help get you through that! “We provide everything you need for a top-notch bowling experience,” continued Katy. Not a very good bowler? Don’t worry about it, they’ve got pool tables, arcade games and even darts to choose from.

Your ball got stuck in the back? The pins won’t reset right? Don’t worry, they’ve got people for that! Currently, Lamar Lanes employs a team of six individuals. Among them, four are dedicated to customer service roles, while the remaining two contribute as mechanics. “Our employees wear many hats,” mentioned Arnulfo. But that’s not all this team does. “At our bowling alley, we believe in the importance of giving back to the community and being socially responsible. We view ourselves not just as a business, but as an integral part of the fabric of our local community,” continued Katy. To fulfill this commitment, they actively seek out opportunities to support local charitable organizations, schools, and community events. They strive to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone feels valued and respected. “We believe that by investing in our community and fostering positive relationships, we can help make a meaningful difference in the lives of those around us while also strengthening our business and the bonds within our community,” added Arnulfo and Katy.

 “Whether it’s casual games with friends, competitive league play, or exciting events and parties, we aim to cater to a diverse range of interests and preferences. Additionally, we strive to ensure that every visitor leaves with a smile on their face and a desire to return!” Lamar Lanes, established in 1959, has evolved over six decades to become a cornerstone of community entertainment. From its origins as a bowling alley, it has grown into a beloved institution known for fostering social connections and creating cherished memories. “At Lamar Lanes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Our bowling lanes cater to bowlers of all ages and skill levels, with opportunities to join adult and kids leagues for some friendly competition. Whether you’re looking for a fun outing with friends, a family-friendly birthday celebration, or some competitive bowling action, Lamar Lanes is the place to be!”

Lastly, if you or someone you know is interested in participating in the high school bowling team, please reach out to Lamar Lanes. This new sport to our area is scheduled to begin in the fall season. To kickstart this initiative, they will require a minimum number of participants. They will provide coaching onsite, welcoming both seasoned and inexperienced bowlers alike. If any of these leagues pique your interest, feel free to contact them at the resources below. Lamar Lanes is expanding its team and seeking to hire an individual who is personable, available for a flexible schedule predominantly comprising of nights and weekends, aged 21 years and older. If you are interested in any of the above information or have questions, please contact Lamar Lanes at 719-940-1838 or via email at

During the current summer schedule, our operating hours are as follows:

Thursdays: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Fridays: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Saturdays: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Sundays: 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM

As autumn approaches, their operational days extend to Mondays and Tuesdays, maintaining the same operating hours of 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

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