Photo by Laura Gjovaag
Jose Morales cuts the ribbon for the grand opening of MP Furniture in downtown Sunnyside last Wednesday morning. Morales and his wife, Abigail Pinel (holding their youngest son Nicolas Morales Pinel), started the business with help from Rural Community Development Resources. Guillermo Castaneda and Maira Rodriguez of Rural Community Development Resources hold the ribbon.
As of Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Jose Morales describes opening a furniture store in downtown Sunnyside as the start of a second life.
Morales and his wife, Abigail Pinel, moved from Honduras four years ago for the economic opportunities offered by life in the United States. They held a grand opening for MP Furniture (601 E. Edison Avenue) last Wednesday morning.
Morales said he worked a number of jobs in Honduras, including working for an oil company, at a bank, in sales and with the tourist industry. Coming to the U.S. allowed him to start working for himself.
But first, he said he had to work hard. He started in fast food. Once he’d received his permanent residency, he became a truck driver. He still does short haul trucking to make ends meet as he and his wife work to build up their store.
“I have to work hard,” he said. “But I can make more here than in Honduras.”
For her part, Pinel said she loved the idea of being able to start a new business to help revitalize downtown Sunnyside while also being able to help people.
“I like to help people get what they want for their homes,” she said, comparing the work to interior designing. “And we can help with financing.”
Pinel also worked at a bank in Honduras. She spent 15 years in the job. She also worked at a furniture store before that. When she first came to the United States, she also worked in sales.
The couple have three sons. The oldest is going to school in Honduras while the youngest, a toddler, is being raised in Sunnyside.
“It’s very much the start of a second life for us,” said Morales.