Hello, readers! I apologize for not having a column for a couple of weeks. If you read the First Take columns, you know I caught the COVID-19 virus and have been working on a limited basis for a few weeks. Some days are good and some days it’s a struggle to get through the day, but I’m getting better slowly but surely.

It brings me pleasure to announce new businesses in this climate. Sunkissed Smoothie and Coffee Bar, located 3860 W. 24th St., Suite 109, is holding a soft opening throughout July on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Right now Sunkissed has a limited menu and is slowly adding items to the menu before it goes “full blast” in August, owner Oswaldo Barrera said.

Like some other businesses, Barrera and his wife, Delilah Barrera, and their three daughters, pushed back the planned opening due to the pandemic. They wanted to open Sunkissed because they thought that Yuma needed something different, Barrera said. For years the family, born and raised in Yuma, had visited coffee and smoothie shops when they traveled out of town and they wanted to bring “that vibe” to Yuma.

“We wanted to bring it to our community. It’s not your usual coffee shop,” Barrera said.

Due to the coronavirus, Sunkissed is taking precautions. No dine-in service is offered yet; only take-out is available. They respectfully ask customers to please wear a mask and stand 6 feet from other people. Only 10 people at a time are allowed inside.

For more information, call 928-503-9726.


Leto’s Paddleboards and Kayaks is open for business in Yuma. Retired Marine Brian Leto runs the business with wife, Christina Leto, and 16-year-old daughter Cynthia Cabrera.

Leto’s rents paddleboards, single-person kayaks, tandem kayaks and a Bass Hunter boat with a trolling motor. They will meet you “any day, any time” on the Colorado River with your rental or you can pick it up in town. Many customers leave a car at the West Wetlands and start their adventure in the East Wetlands.

They charge a small fee for delivery farther up north, for example, to Senator Wash or Squaw, Martinez and Mittry lakes.

If you’ve never paddled or kayaked before, the Letos will give you a short lesson, but Brian says that it’s “very easy, surprisingly easy” to do it. “A lot of people are scared they will fall off. It’s not like surfing. It’s slow and easy, and the Colorado is an easy river,” he said.

The goal is to offer affordable outdoor family fun. Why this? “It’s something we enjoy, paddleboarding, camping, fishing. We’re an outdoors family. We saw an opportunity that was not in place. Tubing was about it. We found a niche not being served,” Brian said.

The new venture is not affected by the governor’s shutdown of tube rentals. Leto pointed out that kayaking naturally lends itself to social distancing. In addition, everyone in the Leto family has tested negative for COVID-19 and continues to follow CDC guidelines. They disinfect all watercraft after each use.

“It’s one of the more wholesome and safe things you and your family can do to get outside while practicing social distancing and finding relief from the household quarantine,” the Letos noted.

Call 619-307-1356 for more information or to make a reservation or visit letosrentals.com for pricing.


Blended Juice and Smoothie Bar has found a new home at 11242 Foothills Blvd., Suite 9, in the Foothills Village Shopping Center. Owner Tara Taylor had a soft opening on June 22.

With the motto that “eating healthy does not mean boring or tasteless,” Blended serves up healthier eat-out alternatives and fun treats, including smoothies, juices, earth bowls, sandwiches, soups and salads.

It’s been quite the journey for Taylor. In 2017, she closed the Blended location at 3939 S. Avenue 3E but kept the business alive with deliveries. She found a new location in the Foothills, but that deal fell through. She found her current home and was supposed to open in April, but COVID-19 happened. She survived by offering curbside, pickup and delivery of limited menu items.

Operating hours are 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. To order, call 928-210-7562. To see the complete menu, go to https://blended-jb.com/.


Hooters has announced that it will not be reopening the Yuma restaurant at 1519 S. Yuma Palms Parkway, in the Yuma Palms Regional Shopping Center.

The local restaurant, which first opened in 2016, had temporarily closed due to the pandemic. The restaurant chain posted the news on its Hooters Yuma Facebook page.


Here is the Yuma Commercial Construction Project Update for this week:

Certificates of Occupancy Issued: Farmer Insurance, 2851 S. Avenue B, Suite 300, after tenant improvements; 24/7 Get Fit Gym, 2376 S. 34th Drive, after completion of a new fitness center.

Building Permits Issued: Yuma International Airport, 171 E. 40th St., for new solar PV canopies; 24/7 Get Fit Gym, 2376 S. 34th Drive, for rooftop solar PV; Casita Linda Apartments, 3950 W. 12th St., for 31 units; Walmart for general remodels at 2501 S. Avenue B, 8151 E. 32nd St. and 2900 S. Pacific Ave.

New Plans Submitted for Review: Vega & Vega Engineering/Agua Real, 2619 S. Avenue 2½E, for new offices and warehouse; Rally’s, 2380 S. 4th Ave., for a façade remodel.


And that’s it for now! If you know of a new business that has or will be opening, relocating or closing, please let me know at mknaub@yumasun.com.

I get a lot of messages asking questions, which I welcome, but I can’t personally answer questions. If I find the answer, I will answer it in the column. I appreciate the readers who always act as my eyes and ears. Thank you!

My thoughts are with our readers and all the businesses struggling to survive this pandemic. Stay strong and healthy!


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