By Stephen Tool, MCIN Staff
Mina can look a little deserted if you’re not paying attention on your trip to Tonapah, Bishop or points south. Look on the right had side of the road, just a very few blocks down from Soccoro’s food stand, and you’ll see the Hard Rock Market on your right.
Susan Nelson, proprietor, carries nearly everything the Mina citizen or the road weary traveler needs. Not just the usual road fare or beer, bur real groceries. Nelson also carries a small hard liquor supply, t-shirts a few slot machines and even boxes of vintage LP records toward the back.
Surprisingly, she also carries books of good literary quality. Not something you expect to find in a desert roadside store. Nelson laughed and said, “Those are my books, I read a lot here, especially in the winter. After I finish them, I sell them.”
Nelson moved to Nevada from the Bay Area in California while in her mid-20s. She said worked in Reno and around Washoe County before moving to Mina.
Nelson has lived in Mina for the last 20 years. “I’ve had the store for 14 years, I bought it because I needed a job, and boy do I have one,” Nelson said. The store is for sale because Nelson says she’s ready to retire.
“I get a lot of people traveling between Reno and Vegas, it’s a good little business,” she said. “I suppose you could say the store is a hodge-podge of things.”
She originally envisioned this as an antique store. “I bought one of those railroad houses and I was going to live upstairs and have antiques downstairs. There’s not enough people here to buy antiques,” Nelson said.
Her antique store sign still leans on the store wall facing the highway.
Things have changed over the years and only the beer and liquor are delivered directly to the store these days. “I’ve got to go to Carson City for the rest. If I’m not working, I’m busy shopping,” Nelson said.
Nelson says she plans to stay in Mina after she sells the store. “I’m kind of a workaholic, and I plan to do an Internet business selling (Asian) Indian clothing. I’ve got it all worked out,” she said.