Huertas Brothers, a new second hand store in Carbondale, opened mid-pandemic without much fanfare. The business is incrementally seeing more customers and adjusting accordingly. Photo by Raleigh Burleigh.

There’s a new thrift store in town, overflowing with treasures.

From antique furniture and decorative chandeliers to jewelry, vintage electronics, kitchen supplies and, of course, plenty of clothing. Huertas Brothers replaced what was previously Back Door Consignment, tucked behind Axkawa (Señor Taco Show) and Granetta Panini at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue in Carbondale.

“Opening the store was a dream-come-true,” says Gil Huerta, the middle brother. Gil and his younger brother, Marcos, arrived in the United States as teenagers and have enthusiastically learned a handful of trades, including carpet cleaning, housekeeping, landscaping and masonry.

Arriving in the Roaring Fork Valley without their parents, working to support their basic needs took precedence over academia, but the brothers aren’t complaining. They work hard and live generous and grateful lives. “These are the most important things that our parents taught us,” says Gil.

Often, while performing a job like carpet cleaning for homes in the valley, the brothers are given furniture. Sometimes, their payment is in things rather than money. “Always,” Gil says, “we try to find people that need the things we are given, to help them out.”

One job in May of 2020 involved helping the owner of Back Door Consignment to consolidate and move her wares. Two months into the pandemic, the store was closing. As they say, when one door closes, another opens. For Marcos and Gil, this was an opportunity to take over the rent and trade labor for many of the items already inside. It was a risky decision that they met with enthusiasm.

“At first, it was overwhelming,” says Flor Moscoso. She met the brothers at Basalt High School and is now a part of the family, leading the management of the thrift store. With ample time to clean and reorganize, Huertas Brothers officially opened in July of 2020. Over the past year, with pandemic-related restrictions subsiding, they’ve seen a steady increase in customers and are steadily paying off their debts. “We realized that our prices were too high in the beginning. We’ve since adjusted.”

“Our vision is to help everybody with lower prices,” Marcos adds with a smile. “We try to help everybody, to make them feel happy.”

To the dismay of the previous store’s consignors, accounts were not carried over with this change of ownership.

Nonetheless, the store aims to please. A slew of discounts are offered, like 30 percent off for seniors on Fridays and Saturdays and special deals for children during the last week of every month. Neither are they shy to barter with folks that truly need an item. “We love to help people,” Gil repeated often during our interview. Marcos revealed that it is not uncommon for them to gift a toy to a child. 

Many of the items sold are acquired through storage unit auctions. Donations of goods are also welcomed. Although the store currently follows a thrift model, Moscoso says that it is possible they will switch to consignment eventually.

“We did it, we’re here,” Gil smiles, relieved. “Now all that’s missing is for people to come and see.” As their business ventures grow, the family looks forward to integrating with the community by supporting nonprofits and other noble causes.

Huertas Brothers, the thrift store, compliments Huertas Services — offering window cleaning, carpet cleaning, housekeeping and other handy work. With dreams of opening a restaurant next, the younger brothers recently brought their older brother José into the fold.

“Mostly, we are a family business.” Gil informed The Sopris Sun. “We have a few employees and we treat them like family too, always eating together.”

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week, “In case somebody needs something,” says Gil. To reach Huertas Services, call 970-710-1240.