Taos resident Gabriel Trujillo opened his first ice and purified water vending machine business in 2015 adjacent to family-owned commercial property near the Taos Plaza. The self-serve machine dispenses 20- and 10-bags of ice and purified water by the gallon, a business model he felt was good for the environment as customers bring their own containers rather than requiring them to purchase one.
After seeing success in this vending business, the state police officer then began to look for another location in Santa Fe. In 2017, he rented a location near Cerrillos Road and Vegas Verdes Drive after obtaining a $140,000 loan from The Loan Fund.
“Many customers have complimented the business because of the easy access, and the quick-pay and receive business model. Many customers do not want to wait in line at a gas station or supermarket for ice or purified water,” Mr. Trujillo said.
As in Taos, the freestanding vending model was also successful in the City Different. In December, Taos Icehouse LLC was one of two recipients of the 2021 Santa Fe Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award.
“The reality is if I did not receive the loan from The Loan Fund, I would not be able to have the successful business that I have presently,” said Mr. Trujllo, who is now researching properties for his third business.