Appliance store changing hands
September 8, 2021
Tucumcari's only home appliance store is undergoing its first ownership change in nearly a half-century.
Love's Appliance Sales & Service at 117 S. Second St. in downtown is scheduled to officially change hands this week after being owned by Ray and Norma Love since 1973. Longtime employee Robert Marroquin will take the keys to the business. Marroquin was a participant in Tucumcari MainStreet's FORGE business accelerator program.
The Loves were in the process of liquidating their existing inventory of refrigerators, dishwashers and clothes washers and dryers last week. Marroquin said a new shipment of appliances should arrive by mid-month.
The store will be renamed Appliance Connection. Marroquin said he would begin repainting the sign above the entrance this week.
"It'll still be the same great service, same place, same phone number ... just a different name," he said Thursday.
Marroquin said he would continue to sell most of the same brand of appliances, including Speed Queen and Frigidaire. He said he remained undecided whether he would stock Whirlpool items because "there are so many rules and regulations" associated with the brand.
Marroquin had been Love's repairman for about nine years.
"At first, it was just kind of another job," he recalled. "Then, Ray and Norma, they were so good to me. It was like, 'How can I leave something so good?' Then I started to fall in love with it, and here we are."
Ray Love said Thursday they had been working on a transition with Marroquin for a while.
"For several years, we've been grooming him," Love said Thursday. "I'm trying to get him set up to where Tucumcari still will have service and sales (of appliances)."
Love admitted he had mixed feelings about leaving the store he and his wife had run for 48 years.
"It's pretty hard after that many years," he said. "But we're both wanting to help him get into business. We wouldn't have been here this long if we had somebody to take care of people."
Marroquin acknowledged some initial nervousness about being a business owner.
"Honestly, I was a little scared at first," he said. "But I'm ready to go through with it, take off and make great things happen."