Two Edmonds Businesses Keeping it in The Family
Edmonds is one of the many great American cities that people discover, move to, and live in for generations. We love seeing how invested our residents are in the town, in growing it, in nourishing it, in coming back to it if they spend a few years exploring somewhere new, and in contributing to it for decades.
Family-owned Edmonds businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Knowing their stories and who is behind the shop signs and specials we see when we walk by adds a layer of connection between all of us. At the end of the day, we’re all people who live in and love the same great town.
This month, we’re highlighting two downtown Edmonds businesses that are very different, but also have so much in common—with our town at their center. Ricky Bobadilla, General Manager of Santa Fe Mexican Grill & Cantina, and Sara Comstock, Co-Owner of Comstock Jewelers, spoke with us about what it’s like running a family-owned business in Edmonds.
Tell us about the history of your business:
RB, Santa Fe: My grandfather had a little seafood spot in Guadalajara, Mexico. Santa Fe is a neighborhood there. It’s kind of like a Mexican Edmonds—lots of mom and pop shops and everything stays in the neighborhood. My dad, Javier, has owned restaurants in the Pacific Northwest for over thirty years. He mentored my cousin, Hector, who opened the Richmond Beach Santa Fe five years ago, named after that Guadalajara neighborhood. When El Peurto was looking to sell, Ramon (the owner) wanted the space to remain a Mexican restaurant and since he already knew Hector from just down the road, things moved pretty quickly after that!
SC, Comstock: Comstock Jewelers was founded in 1978 by Geraldine and Robert Comstock after Robert had worked in the jewelry upon returning from the Air Force in WWII. In 1978, they decided to purchase a jewelry store in downtown Edmonds.
How long have you been at your current location, and were there any prior locations?
RB, Santa Fe: We opened Santa Fe Edmonds in November 2019. We have four other locations: Richmond Beach, as mentioned; Renton; Totem Lake; and downtown Kirkland.
SC, Comstock: We have moved locations only once, from where Treasures and Teas currently is to our location right next to the Edmonds Theater about 23 years ago. We are the oldest standing jewelry store in Downtown Edmonds.
How has your business evolved over time?
RB, Santa Fe: While we’ve had family restaurants for decades, Santa Fe is relatively new to our family. We try to keep up with trends and we go back to Mexico a lot. We evolve the decor in the spaces. I recently went to Tulum and brought back some of the new vases and art pieces you see when you come in. Our Edmonds clientele is very outspoken, which inspires specials and menu changes—the Mezcal Margarita, Oaxacan Old Fashioned, Guava Martini, and Prickly Pear Margarita were all drink specials that are now on the regular menu because of feedback from Edmonds customers.
SC, Comstock: Our business has changed a lot over the years, and has also stayed the same in some regards. We still do repair work like we used to, we still sell quality-made jewelry like we used to, and we still take to heart every item that a customer brings in with high regard. We now just have better technology to work with when doing repair work and custom design. We also sell lab-grown diamonds and gemstones, as well as naturally and ethically mined gemstones and diamonds.
What is your favorite thing about being in business in Edmonds?
RB, Santa Fe: Our Edmonds team is brand new to Santa Fe. At our other locations, they’ve all come with us, but in Edmonds, we hired mostly from scratch. I love my team. They all live around this area and it’s a cool feeling to be able to provide jobs for people who live nearby. I love our customers and our regulars. Edmonds is just special.
SC, Comstock: Our favorite thing about being in Edmonds is the community here. We have seen over the years how the community has changed into something really wonderful and beautiful. We have seen time and time again how we have come together to support one another, we even saw it when most businesses in Edmonds had to shut down for 2-3 months in 2020. Sure, this area is beautiful, but the people here are what makes it so great to work here. I’m excited to see how Edmonds will continue to change and grow over the next few years.
What’s something about your business you want the Edmonds community to know?
RB, Santa Fe: We are genuinely grateful to be here. It’s been a crazy ride, especially opening just a few months before shutting down during the pandemic. Some of our other restaurants haven’t done well through COVID. The fact that we’re doing well throughout the pandemic says a lot about the community here. We love their support. We know that community involvement is important and want to support Edmonds in any way we can. And, if you’re hungry, come see us for lunch (11 a.m.- 3 p.m. M-F), Happy Hour (3-5 p.m. M-F), and on Tequila Tuesday (half off premium tequila, lots of fine cocktails to try, and $2 crunchy tacos) inside the restaurant or in one of our streateries!
SC, Comstock: We want the Edmonds community to know how thankful we are to be here, how happy we are to serve the community, and we are so thankful for the support over the last 44 years.
What are you proudest of in your business right now?
RB, Santa Fe: I’m proudest of our staff. We have a great core group of people that we were able to hire back after the initial COVID shutdowns. They are passionate and they care about quality service. I tell them to try to be curious about the people they meet—that you never know where one connection or one conversation can take you. And they’ve taken that to heart.
SC, Comstock: Next year, we will be in business for 45 years, and we are excited to celebrate that! We are proud to continue to be a family-owned business, taking the care and time to help customers. It has been so wonderful to see my grandparents’ vision for a store come to fruition with my dad, and now with me. We are proud to serve Edmonds and the greater Edmonds area.
Visiting These Businesses? Take us with you!
We love supporting local! It may be our job, but it’s also our passion. If you’re eating at Santa Fe or getting up close and personal with the jewels at Comstock (preferably both), tag @edmondsdowntown in your posts on Instagram and Facebook. For more information about all of the businesses in the downtown Edmonds Alliance, visit EdmondsDowntown.org.
By Whitney Popa, photos by Matt Hulbert