A little bit country and a little bit Cali – Taos Style! | News

A little bit country and a little bit Cali – Taos Style! 

That’s Sol Food Market and Café, the organic market and café making things snap and pop in Arroyo Seco, the Enchanted Circle and beyond.

Besides offering outrageously fresh and delicious organic foods in the market and café, customers can drift delightfully with music on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – currently featuring the beautiful sounds of African Kora harpist Dylan.

Chris Woodall says about himself and partner Anna Woodall’s intent for their enterprise, being that they are the parents of two sons, 11-year-old Liam and 8-year-old Bryce, “We like to think of ourselves as a mom and pop shop. There is nothing corporate about it.”

“That’s what I love about New Mexico’s emphasis on small businesses,” Anna adds, noting how they fit right into Seco and Taos County, bringing a hint of Northern California, where she was raised. 

“The locals know we can’t compete with the big-box stores. The people in Taos are very conscientious, and they would rather support a small business like ours.”

Unlike Anna, who was born in Taos but raised in Northern California, Chris Woodall was born and raised in the small village of Arroyo Seco, and says he is “proud to provide your day-to-day necessities.”

“We have a really, really strong team,” Chris says. “We value our employees. Without our team we couldn’t do this and I feel like we are one big family all working together.”

Laura Serna, Anna’s best friend since childhood, has been at Sol Food since 2014, and likes being on the team, a big change from working in restaurants and bars. “I’ve gone from slinging booze to slinging health food,” Serna jokes.

“Our customer base has been so loyal,” Anna says about her and Chris’s experience since opening back in 2008. “People from Angel Fire, southern Colorado, all over Taos County, they’re all so happy about our bringing local farmers right to everyone’s table. We use natural, organic and local ingredients whenever we can.”

In both the café and market, customers find ever-new options for gluten-free, paleo and keto salads, paninis, juices, smoothies, coffees, teas, sandwiches and more.

Besides sourcing from local growers like Ojo Farms and other locals for the café’s menu, Sol Food’s parking lot is now the main drop-off for Cerro Vista Farm’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm shares program, making Sol Food Market & Café the Arroyo Seco hub of farm-to-table customers.

International, artisan and New Mexican flare

The menu has a specialized selection of exotically prepared salads and sandwiches. One superstar has been the Taj Mahal (curried chicken salad over baby greens, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumber and fig balsamic dressing) is offered as a panini or salad – a huge favorite they said.

Try out the Taos Turkey Rueben with home-made green-chile thousand island dressing, or the Taoseño Club, and for sure the Messy Jesse, typically served with a bed of local mixed greens then drizzled in delicious fig dressing.

Their latest addition is the Athena’s Garden, served with dolmas, falafels, tzaskik, Israeli salad and a piece of naan bread.

“We don’t preprep anything!” Anna and Chris said both at once, explaining how precut foods can stand too long and lose their quality and taste. “You want the freshest ingredients with every bite,” Chris added. 

One of the things most missing from Taos, Anna said, was a bakery, which is one of the first things the couple focused on bringing to the county. 

“We worked hard to have fresh-baked danishes, cookies, our infamous carrot cake and look forward to expanding on it,” the Woodalls said, noting they’ve won Taste of Taos competitions twice with their baklavas, the first one using Taos honey with walnuts and pistachios, and the second winner using Taos honey, walnuts, piñons and red chile.

As of press time, Chris Woodall said they are the only completely organic espresso bar and fresh vegetable-fruit juice bar in Taos County. Besides all this, they have a passionate commitment to leaving the smallest ecological footprint possible by using biodegradable packaging and not sourcing products from corporate giants just to save a buck. 

“We want to make this place a safe and healthy hangout for this community” Anna and Chris concur, “because the people of Seco and Taos need that.”

Though the market and outdoor patio dining have been open for over a decade, the indoor café just opened April 2019. Both the café and market are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., which can vary, of course, depending on the state’s current coronavirus health mandates. To be sure, call ahead if there’s any doubt.

Since recently upgrading the kitchen, installing new coolers, and expanding Sol Food Market’s space, look for even more dairy products, local meats, fresh produce, dry goods, frozen foods, snacks, treats, pet foods, household products, body care and personal items, as well as gift and boutique items. It is truly a one-stop shop.