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Coffee couple giving back to the Borderland

BY: Stephanie Guadian
LA UNION, N.M. - The Borderland's shopping malls are about to be packed with people looking for that perfect present. 

A new coffee shop in La Union offers unique gifts and a place to relax.

There is no shortage of holiday spirit inside Johnny Lolita's Coffee Roasters.

Shawn Smith and her husband John make a mean cup of joe at the shop on Highway 28 in La Union, N.M. Their first love is coffee roasting, but they also like to support local artists.

This weekend, they will get to do both during their holiday bazaar.

"We will have 25 to 30 artists and vendors out here selling unique one-of-a-kind art, homemade breads, pies and jewelry. All kinds of neat goodies from artists and vendors from Las Cruces all the way over to the east side," said Shawn Smith.

Some Christmas tree art will be for sale. The couple drew tree outlines on boards and gave them to the artists to decorate. The artwork is as unique as the artists. Some of the trees are painted, one is a mosaic and another is made from re cycled materials. The proceeds will go to the El Paso and Las Cruces Toys for Tots.

Emmanuel Rodriguez doesn't paint. But, the 16-year-old artist wanted to help out. A beautiful snowman is his contribution.

"I just rolled up aluminum balls and covered them with clay and made the shape. Everything is done by sculpture. Everything is clay. Except for the hands," said Rodriguez.

The teen doesn't want to make any money off his holiday creation. It's his gift to children in need.
A gesture of holiday spirit Shawn says she learned from her father.

"He always believed in giving. And he always believed you always need to help your fellow person. And if you have enough to give then you should try and give back to the community," said Smith.

The holiday bazaar will be held Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 at Johnny Lolita's Coffee Roasters. It opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. The address is 3200 S Highway 28 La Union, N.M. Admission is free.



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