• The owners are considering a second store in Rio Rancho or Bernalillo


The Good Life co-owners Jackie Robinson and Chris Yannis, right, see plenty of demand for furniture items like beds and couches. The store first launched in Rio Rancho in 2017, relocated to southeast Albuquerque in 2019 and came back to Rio Rancho in September 2021 with its current location at 1504 Cherry Road. (Matt Hollinshead/Observer)

Chris Yannis and Jackie Robinson couldn’t pass up the chance to return home to Rio Rancho.

Their furniture store originated from a garage setup in the City of Vision.

The co-owners of The Good Life 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 the middle of 2019. But by May 2021, they closed that location because the 1,900 square-foot building was too small to accommodate the store’s growing needs.

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

Then a larger, cleaner building space at 1504 Cherry Road — roughly 6,000 square feet — became available within a matter of weeks. They opened that location on Sept. 1, 2021. And with both Yannis and Robinson residing in Rio Rancho since June 2011, they couldn’t turn down the opportunity to resume business right in their backyard.

“That’s where we started at, and that’s where we want to be,” Robinson said.

‘The pandemic really got us well known’

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

“The pandemic really got us well known” because it helped initiate extra delivery orders as a result of fewer people shopping in-person, Robinson said.

The ratio of in-person transactions versus deliveries is about 50-50, but 90 percent of customers have inquired about the free delivery option, Yannis said.

“Most of our senior citizens, they really take advantage of the free delivery… They love their discounts,” Robinson said.

RR’s recent growth, other circumstances

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

“A lot of people are moving from out of state. It’s because it’s such a good area. We see it all the time. We saw customers that 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 New Mexico’s hospitals.

Robinson said some apartment complexes in town have come to The Good Life to inquire about purchasing furniture for nurses staying in those apartments.

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

Bang for your buck?

The Good Life, which offers coffee at a food truck called Gnomad Coffee for customers waiting in line for their merchandise, emphasizes quality furniture products like beds and couches at an affordable price. The store also focuses on specialty orders from wooden bed framing to pairing a dinner table with a different set of chairs. That way, customers won’t stress over having a particular setup, let alone their budget.

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

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