ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  Putting small businesses on display, one New Mexico museum is hoping to share the state’s history through the lens of entrepreneurs and they’re creating an entire gallery of current and past small businesses to do it.

From a general store in Cordova, New Mexico, to a meat market in Raton. “These small businesses are what started New Mexico,” says Dawn Vatoseow, owner of Lindy’s Diner.

The New Mexico History Museum is working to put small businesses like these on display. “From regular shops to maybe immigrant-owned, minority-owned, Black, and brown owned businesses. Women-owned businesses and what they meant to their families and what they mean to their communities,” says Alicia Romero, New Mexico History Museum Curator.

Museum curator Alicia Romero says they plan to showcase small businesses that have closed and those that are still open. They are asking for public submissions to help bring the “Little Shops, Mom and Pops” exhibit to life. “I’ve gotten submissions about some bars in New Mexico that have since closed down. Some corner stores, markets things here in Albuquerque on Central Avenue that are gone,” Romero says.

Photos like these showcase just how much Downtown Albuquerque has transformed through the years when it comes to small businesses.”Everything else from way back when is gone,” Vatoseow says.

Owner of Lindy’s Diner on Central Dawn Vatoseow says small businesses are the heartbeat of the state’s economy. “We have paved the way for some of those businesses and even a lot of the small businesses that have closed again have paved the way for some of these new businesses that have come in,” Vatoseow says.

And she believes an exhibit like will display New Mexico’s history from a unique perspective. “Eventually things will go back to normal we’ll have balloon fiesta and we’ll have conventions and it’s nice for them to see where New Mexico started,” Vatoseow says.

Romero tells us they will be accepting submission for the next few months. They are looking for family-owned, local small businesses and not national chains or franchises. The exhibit is expected to open in the fall of 2022.

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