The shop in Jefferson County sold its property to longtime next door neighbors, and it’s own tenant, Edward’s Meats.

ARVADA, Colo. — Like so many family businesses, Reed Becerra grew up at his dad’s shop.

For more than six decades, his family has owned Abner’s Garden Center at the corner of West 44th Avenue and Ward Road, just off I-70. 

Abner Becerra, Reed’s father, opened the store in 1957.

“Originally it was an open air fruit and vegetable market,” Becerra said. 

Back then, the shop was across the street from its current location. Throughout the years, the store grew into a full grocery store. As the area was developed (including I-70), the garden center adapted – and eventually moved across the street.

“My dad hired kids the same age as me and then they’ve grown up, gone off to do other things, and some of their kids have come to work for me later on,” he said.

But, six decades is long enough for this family. Reed Becerra is ready to retire.

“I think it was just time. It was good timing as far as to sell. I was starting to get ready. My wife is already retired, spending more time with her is good. A lot of my friends are retiring,” he said. “[We’re] going out on a good note, so to speak. We’ve had some good years leading up to this. So it’s not like we had to sell. It’s on our own terms. And that’s good.”

But, the new buyer is no stranger. 

Just steps away on the same property sits Edward’s Meats – a longtime tenant who rented from the Becerra family.

“We have been open since 1962 my great-grandfather started it,” said Taylor Edwards, now the fourth generation of the family to work at the store. Her father currently owns the shop.

“The way it’s grown is just tremendous,” she said. “”We’re really thankful for our customers, really proud when people ask us where we work. It’s a huge part of our family.”

The two families have a long history and friendship. Becerra said the two neighbors decided on the plan even before he was ready to retire, and Edwards family formally purchased the property earlier this summer.

“It’s something that’s been there for a long time, the close relationship. This transition was made easy because of that,” Becerra said.

The shelves at Abner’s are nearly empty now, as Becerra sells off his final items. He plans to formally close his doors within the next few weeks, and is encouraging his customers to now visit his brother’s independent garden center just down the road: Young’s Market and Garden Center.

He’s enjoying hearing from the customers he loved, and feeling the impact of his family business on this community.

“The outpouring of love I’ve seen now that we’re closing, it’s been sad and heartwarming, though, at the same time.”

A few steps away, the Edwards family is grateful for the long relationship that allowed them to keep growing their business. Taylor Edwards said they aren’t sure yet what they’ll do with the extra space, but they’re excited for this next chapter.

They expect and hope the Becerra family will stop by and visit occasionally. Edwards guesses the first generation owners would be proud to see what their children have done.

“Abner, if he was here today would be proud of Reed,” she said. “And excited for what’s coming for us as well.”

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