With Community Support Thirsty's LLC Came Through the Pandemic to Open Back Up for Its One Year Anniversary

With Community Support Thirsty's LLC Came Through the Pandemic to Open Back Up for Its One Year Anniversary Main Photo

8 Jul 2020

When Missy Granger, owner and operator of Thirsty’s LLC, opened up her restaurant on April 24, 2019, she expected all of the bumps that come with starting a new business. Luckily, she also found a Carlsbad community that appreciated her delicious daily breakfast and lunch burritos and quesadillas, her fresh menudo available on Fridays and Saturdays, her convenience items, and her fountain drinks — “with the good ice!”

But how could anyone anticipate what 2020 had in store? To fully appreciate Granger’s story, you have to understand her impressive perseverance, the strength of Carlsbad’s robust business environment, and the trials the pandemic brought. In February, Thirsty’s was thriving nicely; they were looking for another team member for the kitchen. By early March, Granger was noticing a drop in business that she attributed to the slowdown in the oil market. Within a short time, they began hearing about COVID-19.

“We started implementing all the mandates that the state and feds had recommended,” said Granger, but she quickly discovered that they changed daily. “I felt that every day I was putting new signs up. I was retraining on something new for my crew. I watched the Governor’s address daily and waited for new information and new mandates.”

However, learning and pivoting as safety information evolved was not the last hurdle. Soon came the delay in supplies, and then a scarcity of them. Prices rose. When the stay-at-home order was issued on March 23rd, several employees felt more comfortable not coming in to work.

“I decided with the lack of staff and the supply shortage I had to close my store not knowing if I could reopen,” said Granger. “My customers were so understanding and supportive although I feared the future.”

The community’s support was evident on April 1st when Thirsty’s closed its doors at the end of the day — not knowing when they would open again — because things were changing at an overwhelmingly fast pace. The Facebook post on Thirsty’s page said it all:

“I cannot say thank you loud enough to the wonderful community of Carlsbad. Today we sold nearly every bit of food I had prepared!!! You all are the best customers and have touched my heart forever. Thank you and we will see you all again.”

Thirsty’s was closed for three weeks, but to survive, Granger worked tirelessly to open on April 23rd for curbside pick-up, delivery, and drive-thru one day before the restaurant's one year anniversary. It was no small task. She studied the mandates and suggestions, exceeded cleaning expectations, and took her staff through a two-day training so that the opening would be safe. She got the word out, and the community responded.

“The first week was scary to say the least,” said Granger, “But our community was full of love and support. We saw lots of local people come to eat.”

Thirsty’s was further bolstered and “given so much hope” when The United Way of Eddy County used them to supply 100 meals to the community’s most vulnerable children. The Carlsbad community proved the depth of United Way’s motto “Shop local . . .Give local . . . So that it stays local.”

But unsurprisingly, Thirsty’s gave back in turn, offering discounts to First Responders using the drive-thru, and packaging travel bottles of hand sanitizer to help with the shortages experienced.

While Granger does not feel they are completely “out of the woods” yet, June has brought welcomed changes and perks. They opened their doors with social distancing practices on June 2nd so that customers could have full access to their drink cooler, snacks, tobacco products, fountain drinks, Red Bull infusions, iced coffee, and fresh store-made food. They received “Business of the Week” from KCCC Radio with a celebratory bouquet sent from the station and Carlsbad Floral and Gifts.

“I have never imagined living through such a time as we are now,” said Granger, “Though I wouldn't want to do that anywhere else. Thanks Carlsbad. I just want people to know that Thirsty's has the kindest and hardest working ladies and they always provide the best customer service out of anywhere.”

Visit Thirsty’s Facebook page for store hours and updates. Visit The Carlsbad Department of Development’s website to see how they can assist your new or relocating business.