519 Main Avenue
Owner: Marsha Field Wells Schuetz
What inspired you to start your business?
After buying the Diamond Circle Gift Shop from Henry Balocca in 1974, we opened another shop in Rio Grande Land when the space was created for retail by Jim Jackson in 1977.
Where did your business' name come from?
We were in Rio Grande Land and the jewelry we sold was Native American which was mainly sold in Trading Posts. Thus: Rio Grande Trading Co.
Why did you start a business in Durango?
Those were the go-go years when the train was attracting lots of visitors to town, many tour buses were coming through, and Native American jewelry was hot! I love Durango and feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful area, in a small town, with a little business that supports us and our family of employees.
Tell us a little history about your business. How has it evolved over time?
Jewelry was what we mainly sold at the Diamond Circle, and continued to do so at the Rio Grande Trading Co. However, being so close to the train station, the mix of inventory we carried gradually became train related souvenirs. Today we are known as the "train shop".
Any significant history in the building?
Outside the door of the Rio Grande Trading Co., you will see "Palace Hotel" stamped into the old cement sidewalk. Our shop is located in the lobby of the old Palace Hotel that was built in 1890.
What is the secret to being a successful business in a small town?
We love this little store with its great displays of a variety of Durango/Colorado/DSNGRR train souvenirs and items made by local artists. We get lots of compliments on it. The secret to our success for 43 years is not only location, location, location, but the wonderful employees I have had over the years. We always welcome locals, and they reward us by bringing in their visiting relatives and friends.