On Stands Now
February 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Der Markt Grocery Store

The Red River Der Markt grocery store has been serving the Red River community since 1960. Owners Ted and Linda Calhoun made sure that food security was a priority for the residents and tourists of Questa’s small neighboring community tucked in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.


Questa native Rachael Romero has worked for the Calhouns since 1988. “I have been with the store since before I was a mom and this is the place I met my husband, Miguel,” Rachael says. At the time she met him, he had already been with the store for several years, but when they realized they were a match, he decided to move on to pursue a career in local government. “It was good that he moved on, because we couldn’t work together and go home together. There would be nothing to talk about if that were the case,” she jokes.


When asked how Rachael has been with the store for so many years, she is quick to point out that the Calhoun family has been good to her. Currently serving as the general manager, Rachael handles accounts payable, receivables, personnel, onboarding, training, ordering, and scheduling. While her job is mostly oversight for the business, Rachael says she is always ready to run the register as well as stock and face shelves.


“I work seven days a week: I don’t take time off unless I need to… because sometimes it’s more work than if I [had] just worked,” she says. Running the store as if it were her own, Rachael takes pride in ensuring the store is clean, friendly, and has a variety of merchandise to ensure shoppers have what they need, right in town.


Rachael is a mother of four and grandmother of six. “I live for my family—family is always first—and this job has given me the opportunity to provide everything my family needed over the years,” she says.

“Now, I am hopeful I can still be working so my grandkids can also come work at the store,” she says.


Der Markt has been a long-term employer of many Red River and Questa residents and Rachael is proud that Der Markt jobs have helped build opportunities for many generations of local residents as well as her own children, who have all worked in the store during their teen years, gaining valuable experience and work ethic to go on and establish careers for themselves. “People who have worked at our store have taken the skills they learned working here and put them to use. It’s a great thing to be able to provide people the opportunities they need to provide for their family or to help them as they attend college or trade school.”


While Rachael has been with the store longest, she has employees who have had equally long careers with Der Markt. “Lisa Cisneros has been with us since 1997, so 27 years! Her daughters Melissa and Martina have both worked for the store, too.”


Currently, the store employs nine full-time and four part-time staff. “It’s difficult to find employees these days. This job is demanding and labor intensive. We have block[ed out] times during the year where you can’t take time off because it’s the busy season. One thing I can say for certain, however, is your hours will never get cut and you will make your 40 hours a week,” she says.


Full-time employees start at $15 per hour. The store also offers medical insurance, PTO, and sick leave. Retirement benefits are also available after a certain amount of time working for the business. Additionally, employees are sure to do 40 hours per week, with a high likelihood of overtime availability. If you’re interested in working for the store, visit https://www.dermarktfoodstore.com/employment/.

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