Located at 420 Camino Don Miguel, Johnnie’s Cash Store has been in business since 1946. Since that time, seven generations of families have traded with the Armijo family. “The viejitos have all died and most of the local families have moved away. The area has really changed, but the grandchildren, nephews and nieces from the old neighborhood still stop in to say hello,” recalled Johnnie Armijo.
A Block Away From Canyon Road
Armijo was born in Santa Fe on October 27, 1929. He was married to Bertha Baca for 71 years. The couple raised their 9 children on Camino Don Miguel one block away from Canyon Road. Throughout the years his wife, children and grandchildren have all helped him at the store. “My grandson takes charge of the store on Saturday afternoons so that I can go have lunch at Souper Salad, my favorite restaurant in Santa Fe,” Armijo remembered.
One Adobe at a Time
As a teenager, Armijo made and sold root beer in front of his parent’s home. He also bred rabbits, which he sold to people in the market for that delicacy. In 1944 he helped his father build their store one adobe at a time. During those early years, his father minded the store while Armijo learned all aspects of the grocery business. He started out at Batrite’s Grocery, then went on to be an assistant manager at Piggly Wiggly and Safeway. In 1981, Armijo retired from Safeway and took over the family business full time when his father died. Armijo, who will be 91 in October, still makes a daily appearance at Santa Fe’s only family-run grocery store.