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El Cajon Alpaca Farm Offers Black Friday Alternative

Video by Katie Schoolov

Is the typical Black Friday experience not your thing? Well, this year we found a Black Friday sale that doesn’t involve long lines and jam-packed parking lots. KPBS video journalist Katie Schoolov was there.

Instead of long lines and jam-packed parking lots, the Black Friday sale at A Simpler Time farm and mill in El Cajon was all about big-eyed, furry alpacas.

Alpacas are related to llamas but smaller, and they’re from the same Andes mountain region in South America.

But alpacas are bred specially for their super soft fiber, used to make hats, sweaters and other textiles.

Barbara Davies and her husband, Dave, have been running a Black Friday sale for the past few years at A Simpler Time.

“If you’re looking for just a pet alpaca, our normal price is around $500,” Barbara Davies said. “So today it’s $250.”

If you want a breeder, however, it’ll cost you at least $1,500 and up to $4,000 on sale.

Photo by Jill Replogle

Male alpacas for sale at A Simpler Time farm near El Cajon, Nov. 28, 2014.

The Davies have been in the alpaca business for 15 years. They breed and board the animals. They also have a mill where they process their fiber, and a store where they sell yarn and other alpaca products.

Barbara Davies said the farm’s biggest customer base was among urban professionals “who are looking for a little peace in their hectic lives.”

Alpacas are permitted in parts of San Diego County zoned for small livestock.

Jeremy Nikodym came to the Black Friday sale at A Simpler Time with his wife, Jennifer Smith. But they weren’t quite ready to take home an animal.

“It is on me and the wife’s to-do list at some point in our future,” Nikodym said. “We just don’t have the space for it right now and I don’t think it’s financially responsible yet.”

Nikodym, a knitter, said he hoped to make his own yarn one day. A Simpler Time will spin alpaca yarn for customers.

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