Chris and Krystal Chavez always wanted to own a business but weren’t sure what to go into. Chris, a former truck driver, wanted to work for himself but wanted to have flexible hours.
During the pandemic, the couple started candle making and thought that might be a new venue to look into as the couple noticed there were a lot of candle shops in Albuquerque’s Old Town.
“But we thought there are a lot of candle stores. We just kept thinking how can we make ourselves different?” Krystal said. “Then we started thinking, well, we have kids and we see how technology is taking over their lives. We remembered as kids that we spent hours playing outside instead of being inside.”
Noting how the local parks seemed empty at times, the couple wanted to bring their six children and other children outside more for fun and entertainment.
“We might have been playing corn hole at the time, but when the idea for the business came up I said, ‘Let’s do it!” Krystal said.
Ultimate Tailgating opened in November 2022 in the Northeast Heights. The store is not only filled with popular games, such as corn hole, ring toss and horseshoes, but Scatter, which is similar to bowling, and Rollors, a combination of bocce ball, horseshoes and bowling. The store has a try-before-you buy policy, which makes them competitive against online retailers or the big box stores. Plus, they’re got a few other outdoor accessories, such as grills and clear stadium tote bags, to help complete that last-minute tailgate party or planned camping trip.
“We were going to buy a turnkey gift shop and we walked into The Loan Fund to talk with Leroy about it who made some suggestions on what to ask the seller,” said Krystal, adding that when they further looked into the business they realized it didn’t quite work for them.
“His best advice was to build something for ourselves and we made it happen,” she said.