MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Businesses along Ina Rd. near Interstate 10 are still weathering the changes that the two-year long road construction project has brought along with it. One of the bi-products of the project, less business for the stores, shops, and restaurants along the road.
One of them is a mom and pop shop that's stood just a few blocks from the I-10 on-ramp for 40 years: Donut Wheel. Things are definitely a lot slower there than ever before, according to cashier Sophia Padilla. However, she and the staff there are hopeful their savory treats will help push them through tough times.
"Everybody likes our donuts, we have a good product, and we're going to try and stick it out," she said.
Different story here at Donut Wheel...but a cashier tells me things have slowed down a ton. More at 5 on Ina Rd. Construction on @kgun9pic.twitter.com/oj6jK0QJek
"It's not busy during the week at all," Padilla said.
Before the construction project effectively blocked off the area, Padilla explained their main clientele were businesspeople headed to work. They'd usually swing by the store, pick up some treats and coffee, and then hop on the I-10 on-ramp.
Padilla says she thinks a lot of people have a hard time navigating through the detours. So, many of them simply don't do it.
"A lot of customers tell us they don't know how to get here, the signs aren't really that great," she said. "Especially the ones that live on the other side of the freeway, it's really hard for them."
However, they still have a group of regulars who continue to make a point of coming by the store, even if it is a little bit inconvenient. They usually come in the morning to grab a coffee and donut, and then often watch the construction spectacle, Padilla says.
And as spring of 2019 comes closer every day, the folks at Donut Wheel are hopeful their prime location right near the interstate will once again become a sweet spot.
Down the street, one business has taken a different approach.
Miss Saigon was open when the project started six months ago, but now, a sign on the door says they're temporarily closed, and will reopen when the project is finished.