Ask Flora May Cordova, owner of the Route 66 Townhouse Welcome Center & Gift Shop in Tucumcari, New Mexico, to lunch, and she’ll likely decline. As Larry Smith of Motel Safari explains, Cordova is at her store by 7 a.m. and “doesn’t want to miss a single customer,” so she’s not one to close up shop just for a meal. The Tucumcari community shares Smith’s respect for this hardworking woman who sells Route 66 collectibles, antiques and handmade merchandise; hosts visiting groups, including motorcycle clubs; and gives homemade banana nut bread to her business associates.
Cordova’s gift shop is one of many small businesses that make a journey along Route 66 so memorable. This year, as our country begins a five-year celebration of the centennial of the Mother Road, the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative, administered by the Road Ahead Partnership, is raising money to support grants for women-owned and -operated businesses and attractions so that amazing women like Cordova can keep their doors open, especially during these challenging times.
Visit 100extraordinarywomen.com/route-66-extraordinary-women-initiative to learn more and make your tax-deductible donation.
Photo Caption and Credit:
Route 66 small-business owner Flora May Cordova