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Other Voices: Give your support to our local entrepreneurs

Paul Cook

This is a story about the hard times faced by many local entrepreneurs in our area.

BJ and Barbara Joachim, married for over 20 years, moved from Carlsbad in 2002 and purchased the Rough and Ready Market and Deli. The establishment continued a tradition of serving dinner for a while, but the costs associated with keeping the dinner service proved to be a problem. BJ continued the tradition of Thursday Night Collector Car Appreciation, BBQ on Friday and Saturday nights, but dwindling sales and increased costs forced the couple to cancel the events, and the dinner service was eventually discontinued.

There is still a barbecue burger available six days a week, but sales have been lackluster so far. The deli, which is one of my daughter’s favorite spots, continues to provide excellent sandwiches, burritos, chicken, etc. The problem lies in the traffic (or lack there of).

The county started work on widening the Rough and Ready Highway in June, and since then business has tapered off. No one wants to spend time waiting for the road crews to complete their tasks. The bottom line is that the Rough and Ready Market has lost over 50 percent of its business from a year ago.

If you come from Grass Valley, you won’t experience any delays. If you come from Penn Valley, well, that might be a different story.

This business, a staple of Rough and Ready, is on the verge of closing. I feel for BJ and Barbara. When I moved here in 2005, I had a three-week-old daughter and my wife was in a San Francisco hospital. I used the Rough and Ready Market as a place to take my daughter and enjoy the company and good food.

These folks are committed to the local community. BJ has a radio scanner that broadcasts the Rough and Ready Fire Department radios, and there is no point at which you can say they are not committed to our county. My neighbors are volunteers with the Rough and Ready Fire Department, and I can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve given me over the past year.

Life is hard. Choices are hard. But if you can get to the Rough and Ready Market and Deli and talk to BJ and Barb, you’ll learn about the local community, life around here, and appreciate exactly what you have in Nevada County.

Paul Cook, Lt. Col, USAF, Beale AFB, lives in Rough and Ready.


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