Featured Investment:

Major Market on the Pueblo of Zuni

RIC is proud to invest in Native entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their community.  RIC's first investment supports an organic food market on the Pueblo of Zuni, Major Market. Listen to this interview with Major Market owner, Darrell Tsabetsaye, on the podcast Beating the Odds: Stories of Successful Minority Businesses.

To learn more about Rainmakers’ work with Major Market, click here to read the feature by RCAC, our CDFI partner.



On Seeking a Loan For an Earlier Business:

Two banks kicked me out and said, ‘We aren’t interested in your idea, it’s too far-fetched, you’re too young, you have no credibility and no established credit. Besides, you are on an Indian reservation and under federal tribal law there is no equity that will allow the bank to latch on to in case you default of the loan.’ They were not willing to finance me.

On His Motivation:

I want to be a positive influence in my community. We are small in comparison to other tribes – we have less than 10,000 members. A lot of our more successful and educated tribal members are living off the reservation. For the ones who are here, we have social problems and our unemployment rate is 60%...In Zuni we have about 20 storefronts, and only 3 are led by Native tribal members. The other storefronts are held by corporations. At the end of the day, they count their sales, make a deposit slip and take it to the bank. Nothing comes back – there is no reinvestment. I’m trying to reverse that. We are paying taxes, we are hiring people, and making life a little easier for people.

Proposed design for Major Market

Proposed design for Major Market


Project Description

A family team who are Zuni Tribal members owns and operates Major Market, Inc. The small business is located on the Zuni Pueblo, a rural community about 150 miles west of Albuquerque. Major Market is a fresh food deli and market that will offer natural and organic foods. Major Market will partner with local food suppliers to advance a farm to table model.

Zuni Pueblo has about 6,300 residents, and approximately 97 percent of the population is Native American. The Zuni community has most essential community services and facilities, and a substantial array of Tribal government programs to assist Tribal members. Median Household Income (MHI) in Zuni is $34,479, compared to New Mexico’s $44,968 statewide MHI.

With grocery shopping in the community limited to traditional convenience stores, access to healthy food is limited. The owners see an opportunity to support tribal health initiatives by promoting healthy eating habits and providing access to fresh meat and produce. Family members, one of whom is a chef, will run Major Market. The project is expected to create six full-time and three part-time jobs, and the owners plan to hire Tribal members. Major Market is one of only three Native-led businesses on the Zuni Pueblo.

Project Type:

Business Loan

Use of Proceeds:

The borrower will use a $544,000 loan to establish a new convenient store and deli, including $52,250 to purchase equipment for the project.




Collateral will consist of a leasehold mortgage on the principal’s interest in the real property and a UCC General Business filing and Security Agreement on all business assets.

Value Assessment:

Community (social) value: Borrower plans to offer a variety of fresh foods for retail sale. This will be a much-desired benefit for the community as it seeks healthier foods that are not now being offered locally. Also, borrower will be the only local and Native American owned deli and convenience store in the community.       

Economic value:

Economic value: This loan will allow a solid business proposal to proceed to fill a void in the local economy for grocery availability, particularly for fresh and healthier foods.