Furniture store sees demand after returning to Rio Rancho

Good Life co-owners Jackie Robinson and Chris Yannis, right, are seeing strong demand for furniture like beds and sofas. (Matt Hollinshead/Rio Rancho Observer)

RIO RANCHO – Chris Yannis and Jackie Robinson couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return home to Rio Rancho.

Their furniture store grew out of a garage in the town of Vision.

The Good Life co-owners first launched in November 2017 at 1534 Stephanie Road in Rio Rancho, then moved to southeast Albuquerque near Central Avenue and San Mateo Boulevard in mid-2019. But in May 2021, they closed this location because the 1,900 square foot building was too small to accommodate the growing needs of the store.

Constantly picking up trash left by homeless people on the premises also became tiring.

Then, larger, cleaner building space at 1504 Cherry Road – approximately 6,000 square feet – became available within weeks. They opened this location on September 1, 2021. And with Yannis and Robinson residing in Rio Rancho since June 2011, they couldn’t turn down the opportunity to take over business right in their backyard.

“This is where we started and this is where we want to be,” Robinson said.

While The Good Life offers free delivery for residences up to 40 miles away, their delivery routes are not limited to the Albuquerque metro area. For example, they recently delivered furniture to a house in Socorro.

“The pandemic has really put us on the map” as it helped kick off additional delivery orders due to fewer people shopping in person, Robinson said.

The ratio of in-person transactions to deliveries is around 50-50, but 90% of customers asked about the free delivery option, Yannis said.

“Most of our seniors, they really take advantage of free shipping. … They love their discounts,” Robinson said.

Yannis and Robinson acknowledged the increased activity in recent months, from incoming property developments to people building homes.

“A lot of people are leaving the state. This is because it is a very good neighborhood. We see it all the time. We’ve seen clients who just moved here from Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma,” Yannis said.

And because the pandemic is still present, there are other factors such as nurses traveling from other states to help hospitals in New Mexico. Robinson said some city apartment complexes have come to The Good Life to inquire about buying furniture for the nurses staying in those apartments.

“They’re not trying to spend an arm and a leg, but they want nice things,” he said.

The Good Life, which offers coffee at a food truck called Gnomad Coffee to customers queuing for their merchandise, focuses on quality home furnishings like beds and sofas at an affordable price. The store also focuses on specialty orders.

“We want you to be able to furnish a home without having to skip a meal or take food off your table,” Yannis said.

Yannis said he hopes to add a second store around NM 528 and South Boulevard or somewhere near Bernalillo within the next two years.

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