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NOT CLOSING: After 25 years, Humberto Munoz had decided to shut down his store, Hesperia Quality Meats. But after an outpouring of support from the community and his landlord, Muñoz has reversed his decision, keeping the market open despite financial difficulties.

Meat market to stay open

Meat lovers rejoice.

Humberto Muñoz, owner of Hesperia Quality Meats, has decided not to throw in the towel after a wave of customer support sent a message to Muñoz and his landlord.

“I could not believe all the support I got from the community after they read the article in the paper,” Muñoz said, referencing an earlier story in the Hesperia Star. “Then my landlord decided to work with us instead of raising

the rent.”

Muñoz and his wife, Carmen, decided to shut the 40-year-old market in December after the poor economy, bad health and a major rent increase added to his woes.

“The landlord is working a deal with me, so we should be able to stay in business for a while,” Muñoz said. “He is going to allow us to pay overdue rent over a period of time, and he’s not going to raise our rent.”

The landlord has also decided to pick up the market’s water and trash bill, which is approximately $140 a month for both, according to Muñoz.

“Many people appreciated my comment in the paper about Obama not being the source of our help,” Muñoz said. “I still believe that it’s going to take all of us helping each other during this bad economy.”

Muñoz, who has owned the store for 25 years, is planning to lower prices, offer product specials and increase his advertising to build his customer base, which has not improved over the last few years.

“When people are losing their homes and property, and using food stamps for the first time, you know it’s a bad time,” Muñoz said. “It would be nice if the city, or people with power, would come up with rent control on commercial property.”

Muñoz, who will end his four-decade tradition of having a large family Christmas celebration because of a lack of finances, said he is thankful for what he has and for the opportunity to start fresh.

“When people from Texas hear the news of our shop closing and call to encourage us, then you know it’s time to give it another try,” Muñoz said. “We’re going to be OK.”

For more information on the shop at 17144 Main St., call (760) 244-4141 or visit online at www.facebook.com/hesperia.qualitymeats.

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.

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