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New businesses in Globe add excitement to 2024

There’s a sense of anticipation in the local business community, as the calendar turns to the new year and buildings that have sat idle begin to fill with new signs of life.

From restaurant chains expanding into Globe to hometown entrepreneurs turning their dreams into reality, 2024 will usher in a number of new businesses in and around the city.

Thanks to the vision and concerted efforts of Globe City Council and staff, the groundwork has been laid for a thriving economy, and empty storefronts throughout the city are starting to fill with bustling activity.

“We’re really looking ‘business forward’ in 2024, with a focus on new businesses coming in,” says Economic Development Manager Melissa Steele. “There are exciting opportunities in Globe thanks to our business-friendly focus, and the proof is in the pudding.”

Many of Globe’s public events, including hometown holiday celebrations, festivals and the regionally popular First Friday—averaging over 7,000 visitors each month—have turned into business incubators in and of themselves.

Meagan Anaya and her partners in the Copper Cities Coffee mobile unit are preparing to open a brick-and-mortar shop at 1100 Broad Street, near the western entrance to historic downtown Globe.

Meagan Anaya with daughter Bailey, Mesha Toner, Nichole Hart and Erika Sislo of the Copper Cities Coffee mobile unit. Photo provided

Two years ago, Anaya and her sister Nichole Hart and friend Erika Sislo started a nonprofit, Copper Cities Charitable Group, a small organization dedicated to feeding local families in need.

After a successful launch of their Fall Fest in 2022, Anaya ran across an advertisement for a trailer that had been converted into a mobile coffee unit.

“I thought, ‘Wow, that would be really fun. It would be awesome for our nonprofit,’” Anaya says. “But I couldn’t really justify it, so I just let it go. Then about a week goes by and Erika sends me a screenshot of the trailer and says the same thing I was thinking.”

She took it as a sign that it was meant to be, but had to convince her husband it could work. In March 2023, the group took the plunge and bought the trailer.

They initially parked near the Copper Bistro, but began hauling the trailer to various events, such as the light festival at Besh Ba Gowah. It soon became a staple at First Friday.

The coffee trade became so successful in such a short amount of time that Sislo, who ran a daycare for nearly 10 years, quit her job to operate it full-time. The trailer was featured at the second Copper Cities Fall Fest last October, and in the meantime the trio was making plans to go big with the business.

With deep connections to the community—Anaya’s military family moved from South Carolina to Globe when she was five years old, and both she and Hart are Globe High School graduates, while Sislo is from Miami—Anaya is excited to jump into the business world.

For now, though, she will keep her job at the Arizona Department of Transportation. That leaves Hart and Sislo to run the business, which will open once all the permits are in place.

At the heart of the new shop, Hart, a Navy veteran and culinary school graduate, will offer up an assortment of baked goodies, including snickerdoodles that Anaya claims are the best in the world.

“We want to create a space where people can come sit and study and just have a good time,” Anaya says. “We’re very excited and plan to donate 10% of our profits to the charitable group to help feed people.”

Following the food-truck-to-storefront theme, and for fans of good barbecue, Anthony Puskaric is finalizing the details on his new restaurant, Gila Hogs BBQ. He hopes to open in March or April.

Puskaric is a Payson native. He owned a restaurant in Rye, but has found a niche in Globe, getting the word out via his food truck. It can be found most days in the Walmart parking lot and at most downtown events and First Friday.

He has done extensive catering in the area for the mining interests and was featured at the grand opening of Waggin’ Vineyard and Estate, on the east side of town.

Puskaric, who spent 16 years at Gila County Animal Control, has been interested in cooking since he was a toddler. His mother, Pamela Zoe, ran a popular restaurant in Payson and worked as a manager at KFC for nearly 30 years.

“He was pretty much on a stool since he was about four years old wanting to cook,” Zoe says. “I was in the restaurant business for about 45 years and he kind of was just there the whole time learning.”

The restaurant will feature several of Puskaric’s secret recipes and comfort food sides, such as collard greens, homemade coleslaw, potato salad, and mac and cheese. 

“Everything’s made from scratch. I don’t do anything prepackaged or anything like that,” Puskaric says. “My prices will be set so a normal family can come in and eat when they want to.”

He cannot reveal the location of his restaurant yet, but will continue to haul his food truck around the city and to First Fridays.

One of the biggest changes to come to the Globe food scene is the retirement of Dolores Salcido, owner of La Luz Del Dia Café on Broad Street.

La Luz has been an iconic business in downtown Globe for more than 50 years and in Salcido’s family for generations, but will now be operated by Oscar Serrano, the husband of Globe’s District 3 Councilman Jesse Leetham.

“Oscar has nurtured a lifelong dream of launching a community-based restaurant, fueled by his passion for cooking,” Leetham says. “For him, cooking is a love language, and witnessing people delight in the food he prepares brings him immense joy. With over 10 years of experience in the service industry and managerial roles, Oscar’s journey has led him to this exciting opportunity.”

Serrano plans to “maintain the wonderful traditions” in the food he plans to serve at La Luz, and sees a smooth transition to new ownership.

“We express immense gratitude for this opportunity to continue to serve our amazing community with Dolores and her family’s blessing, and we hope to stay in close contact with her and her family to ensure we’re keeping up with their 50-year legacy in our town,” Serrano says. “We hope to see everyone at La Luz Del Dia Café!”

A view of La Luz Del Dia Bakery from Broad Street in Downtown Globe, Arizona. Globe Miami Times archives

Leetham, a cancer survivor who is raising his 5-year-old daughter with Serrano, plans to run again for Council in 2024. He sees an opportunity to get closer to the community he serves through the business.

“This ideally provides us with an enhanced opportunity to engage with residents, gather their feedback, network with other businesses, and connect with both locals and visitors,” Serrano says. “Jesse is committed to serving the citizens of the community as a member of the City Council.”

Globe is a city with more Mexican restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the United States. Thanks to Leetham and Serrano, one of the classics will remain in place, but 2024 will see a new operator in the community as well, when Manuel Bustillos and Mirna Zapata open Jalapeños within the next few weeks.

Bustillos has been in the restaurant business for 20 years, opening his first Jalapeños in Florence, followed by locations in Superior, San Tan and Coolidge.

Promising a “huge” menu and specializing in street tacos, Bustillos is expanding to serve customers who are already familiar with his food through his other locations.

“We’re always busy in Superior and at the other locations,” he says. “We have a lot of people from Globe that are already coming down here and are excited actually to have us open up there.”

The City of Globe has laid the groundwork to foster an ecosystem for business growth, innovation, and prosperity. By working hand-in-hand with existing businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, the City is shaping the local economy’s future and building a community where residents will continue to thrive.

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