Business booming for chile stand in Parker

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Business success is usually dictated by one’s ability to effectively deliver products and services, but it never hurts to be equipped with a glad-to-see-you handshake.

It’s part of the charm of Landavazo Chile Connection, a chile stand that sets up shop for six weeks every summer on the Flat Acres Farm property, directly across from Walmart and SuperTarget. The family-run operation has spent the last decade in Parker building a reputation for selling fresh chiles, trucked up every week from Hatch, a small New Mexico town known for its chiles. The stand is also a place for a friendly chat.

A short conversation with owner William Landavazo is simultaneously entertaining and educational. Between apologies to arriving customers for being completely sold out of mild chiles Sept. 1, he explained the varying levels of spiciness. Landavazo also shares a secret for preparing delicious chile-based dishes: Keep it simple.

The customers who elect to brave the hot and extra-hot peppers are assisted by not only Landavazo, but also his mild-mannered father, Alberto, and soft-spoken 14-year-old son, Philip.

“He stretched a little, so now he helps me roast a lot,” Landavazo says of the latter. “He’s doing good.”

They are pitching in during the absence of Landavazo’s wife, Robin, who is pregnant with their fifth child. She is due Sept. 23, the day after the chile stand is scheduled to close for the season.

After a slow first week, Parker residents caught on to the temporary presence of Landavazo Chile Connection. By the end of the second and third weekends, the stand was mostly sold out of the 4,000 to 7,000 pounds of peppers it keeps on hand. Landavazo, a telecommunications tech by day, expects the waning weeks of the season to be equally busy.

He won’t get much of a break from his seven-days-a-week schedule once the baby is born, but Landavazo doesn’t seem to mind. Spending time with his family is what he’d prefer to be doing. They all help the family business, and Landavazo makes sure they get credit for its success. Even email blasts come from “Robin, William and all our little chiles.”

Landavazo Chile Connection is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 22. For more information, visit www.landavazochile.com.