Local entrepreneur Jennifer Whitney said she hopes what she has started with River Queen Holdings in Downtown Bishop leads to more local resources and capital investment to revitalize the city’s downtown.
“We want to create the kind of changes that we want to see strengthen our economy and revitalize main Street,” Whitney said.
Whitney, the founder of River Queen Holdings, which also includes business development, real estate development, architect and design, and tax advisers, acquired the former Ben Franklin crafts store in 2021 after the store closed.
Whitney said the vision for the two-story, 7,000-square-foot building, which was built pre-1911 and also was formerly the Arcularius City Market, is a general store, cafe, community event space and guestrooms.
While a photojournalist, Whitney said she also has been involved in the agriculture and the culinary culture for many years, working in restaurants as well as the marketing of food.
When she moved to Bishop, Whitney, who also teaches yoga, said she saw a need for healthy food access as well as a local agriculture community and creative community that needed and continues to need fostering.
She moved here during the pandemic and was thinking a lot about globalization and how a community like Bishop, which is remote, needed more food sovereignty as well as economic sovereignty.
For much more on this story, see the May 11 edition of The Inyo Register.