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Sol Food Market: Café, grocery store and more

Sol Food Market: Café, grocery store and more

Originally published in Taos News

Hungry in Arroyo Seco? Whether you choose to eat out or cook at home, Sol Food Market is the right place to go.

Sol Food Café offers a variety of sandwiches, salads and wraps as well as freshly made smoothies.

Its outdoor seating area makes it a social hotspot for both locals and tourists.

They have vegetarian paninis like “La Verdura” (with tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and homemade pesto), a “Taoseño Club” with turkey, bacon avocado, tomato, local white cheddar cheese, and green chile mayo, and the popular “Taj Majal” with tomato, cucumber, and chicken curry salad.

“The Taj Mahal is simply divine,” says Dana Middleton, a former Seco resident who now lives in Santa Fe.

“We use Applegate Farm meats for all our sandwiches, free-range chicken for our chicken salads, and organic tortillas,” said Sol Food Market co-owner Anna Woodall. “The coffee at our espresso bar is organic too.”

There is also an organic juice bar inside with some original creations like the Grease Burner, made with celery, ginger, cucumber, kale, and lemon, and the Happy Heart Beet with carrot, orange, apple, beet, and lemon.

The grocery store: a little bit of everything

The grocery store section carries everything from dairy, meat, produce, cereal, and bread.

“Basically, I have everything that people need in order to cook a meal,” Woodall said. “I try to have at least one of each item. If somebody requests something we don’t have, I immediately order it and start carrying it.”

In that respect, her biggest challenge is anticipating what her clients may ask for.

“I have to keep up with the trends,” she said. “One week it is coconut water or kombucha, next week will be something totally different. You can’t always predict it.”

She makes sure to have local meats and cheeses available. Most of their produce comes from Cerro Vista, Morningstar and other local farms.

“Everything in the produce section is local, except for celery, avocados and bananas,” said Woodall. “No bananas in Taos!”

The boutique

The boutique section carries hats, scarves, and a selection of natural body care products.

“We have Dala Balm, made by Lisa DeSanto, with one hundred percent raw ingredients,” Woodall said. “It’s one of our best sellers. We also carry cards, books, make-up bags…Just come and take a look!”

Fulfilling a need

Chris and Anna Woodall opened Sol Food Market in April 2008.

“We had spent several months abroad,” Anna Woodall said. “After we came back to Arroyo Seco, we realized that there was a demand for a store like this one. We would be getting ready to cook dinner and suddenly realized we needed tortillas, or butter, and had to drive all the way to town to get them.”

The young couple brought their different talents to the business.

“I started working in Whole Foods when I was nineteen years old and I know all about the products,” Woodall said. “On the other hand, Chris comes from several generations of contractors. His family owns Woodall Brothers Construction and he began to work for his dad when he was very young, so his experience was crucial in the process. He is always trying to find a more functional way to do things.”

Their first shop was a building across from The Taos Cow, where they spent three years.

“Then this space became available and we took it because it followed the natural progression of things,” Woodall said. “Chris drew the sketches and we built the store as it is today.”

Besides working Sol Food Market, Anna Woodall is a fulltime student at UNM Taos. She plans to get a degree in English and a holistic health certificate.

“I also attended the yoga trainer program and became a certified yoga practitioner last semester,” she said.

A family business

Sol Food Market is a family business. Anna Woodall’s brother, Vlad Dodonov is the assistant manager.

“He runs the show when Chris and I are not here,” Woodall said. “Chris’ mom, Margaret Woodall, makes our baked goods fresh every day. We all pitch in.”

Food as inspiration

Sol Food Market has a slogan—the healthiest food in Taos.

“I’ve always been inspired by food, which basically drives the world, since we can’t survive without it,” Woodall said. “Unfortunately, at this state in the evolution of mankind we have gone from eating nutritious whole foods to pre-packaged ones. I am doing something that I always wanted to do—fighting the war on genetically modified foods, which are as dangerous to out ecosystem as they are to mankind itself.”

The new winter schedule

Sol Food market will open earlier in the winter, as soon as the ski season starts.

“We will open at eight o clock in the morning instead of nine,” Woodall said.

Their current schedule is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Sol Food Market is located at 591 Hondo Seco Road, Arroyo Seco.

Phone: (575) 776-5765

 

 

 

Second acts: four women blaze new trails after retirement

Originally published in Taos News

Bonnie Lee Black

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau, many baby boomer women, currently between sixty and seventy-five years old, are expected to live into their nineties. But exactly does that mean for them?

For a long time, “life after sixty” meant slowing down, working less, or not working at all, and—well, retiring. But this has changed. Some people just don’t want to retire. Others can’t.

Writer, educator and former chef Bonnie Lee Black is among those who never planned for retirement.

“The odd thing is, I never thought I would live this long,” she said. “My mom died at sixty-nine, and since we were so alike physically, I always suspected, deep-down, that sixty-nine would be my end-date too. Well, I was wrong! Here I am at seventy and can’t remember when I felt better.”

She just retired from UNM, where she taught English and culinary classes for ten years.

“I’m blazing my own, new trail and loving it,” she said. “Now I’m free to travel and explore more of the world—other countries, other languages, other ways of living and being.”

Now she is in Guanajuato, Mexico, for four months, working on a culinary project and a historical novel about her great-grandmother.

“I have the luxury of being able to focus since I have fewer distractions,” she said. “When we are younger we are pulled in different directions, but at this moment in my life I can just concentrate on what I want to do. My current goal is to write another good book.”

Mary McPhail Gray: “volunteerism comes naturally to me”

Mary McPhail Gray brought to Taos a diverse background that includes her experience in higher education and her many years in Washington D.C., where she was the deputy administrator for 4-H, family and nutrition programs in the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. She has PhD in Family Ecology and Special Education from Michigan State University.

Gray came to Taos for the first time thirty-five years ago, when she stayed at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. She came back and visited many times afterwards until she moved here permanently in February 2011.

“I knew that, if I wanted to meet people, I needed to do some kind of volunteer work,” she said. “I was raised in the Midwest and have this deep commitment to giving back to others. I also come from a family of teachers who were always about community—volunteerism comes naturally to me.”

She became involved with NonViolence Works in December 2011 as a board member.

“They needed people who knew about behavioral health,” she said. “So I was happy to be part of it.”

Currently she is the Chairwoman of the nonprofit and considers her volunteer work “very rewarding.”

“When you retire, it’s critical that you look at your physical health, your creativity and your voluntarism,” Gray said. “So I also took to playing the cello for the creative aspect, to playing golf for my physical health, and I also got a big dog, Kona, a rescue.”

She sees Taos as a beehive of talented people.

“It’s a great place to work with people of different ages,” she said. “I feel rich in friendships and connections. I am very grateful for the many talented people I have met here.”

Gale Picard Dorion: dreaming the dream of the Earth

 

Moving into the culinary field was a surprise to Gale Picard Dorion, a farm-to-table chef who made a career change, from jewelry making to catering, at seventy-two years old.

“Yet it shouldn’t be that surprising,” she said. “I’ve always loved to nourish people and to be of service.”

She refers to two quotes that define her choice of what turned out to be her “second life after retirement.”

“One is ‘If the land dreams through us, what does it dream?’ from Clare Coté and Anna Keleher’s website Dreaming Place,” she said. “The other one: ‘To put our passion in service to our Earth’s dreams,’ from Reverend Gary Kowalski’s talk June 7th at the Unitarian Universal service. This is my dream, that I feel is the Dream of Earth dreaming through me—I want to be part of the ‘feed-back’ loop, in service with Earth’s dreams, that help our community to flourish.”

When asked for advice to women who are planning to reinvent themselves after retirement, she said,

“Chose what touches you personally, what answers an inner dream, what releases a passion, for those are often the ones that resonate with Earth’s dreams and give the impetus (and endurance!) needed to make a ‘second life’ succeed, and even have a Butterfly Effect in our world, with our small changes producing big effects.”

Gael Minton: from classroom to farm

Gael Minton was an adjunct professor at Antioch University in New England for twenty-seven years. She has a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences and Clinical Nutrition and was Director of Admissions at Antioch in Keene, New Hampshire, for nine years. Her husband Ty Minton is a native New Mexican and founder of the Antioch University New England Environmental Studies Graduate programs.

Retiring from academia in 2001, the Mintons restored two acres of historically irrigated land on Acequia del Monte in Talpa.  Gael has been a Commissioner of the Acequia since 2004. She is on the Taos Valley Acequia Association board and active with the New Mexico Acequia Association.

The Squash Blossom Farm CSA (community supported agriculture) program, now in its 12th season, provides produce, herbs and flowers to eight to fourteen members, June through September.

Gael Minton also keeps bees and is active in a network of Taos Women Farmers, which she started in 2010.

She is an amateur flutist who has studied with Nancy Laupheimer here in Taos and played in the Santa Fe Flute Choir. She is in her mid seventies and her husband in his late seventies, yet they don’t consider themselves “retirees.”

“We just changed the main focus of our work,” she said. “My husband is now a fulltime potter and I farm three seasons of the year. We love the climate, environment and community of Taos.”

 

Chefs from Mexico, the East Coast and Patagonia make Taos their home

Chef couple at Medley share a passion for food

Photo: Katharine Egli

Chefs Wilks and Colleen Medley

Originally published in Taos news

Jaime Nieves-Flores: El Chef at The Gorge

Jaime Nieves-Flores grew up surrounded by the aromas and flavors of his mother’s fonda, a small restaurant in Mexico City. His father owned a deli store nearby.

“There was food all around me and I learned a lot about cooking, but I never thought I would become a chef,” he said.

He came to the United States in 1981and it was then that the food business called him. Nieves-Flores was a corporate chef and culinary specialist at Sysco Foods for nine years. He also worked at several Albuquerque restaurants, among them Seasons, The Artichoke Café, Scalo, and The Cooperage.

In November 2014, Kevin and Keith Roessler renovated the former Ogelvies Taos Grill and Bar and turned it into The Gorge. They knew Nieves-Flores, who had worked for them before, and invited him to be the restaurant’s executive chef and consultant.

“This gave me an opportunity to create a unique and interesting menu,” he said. “Our concept is casual, yet high-quality food, so I make sure that our patrons have a variety of options, from tequila-lime chicken tacos to grilled Atlantic salmon to our famous bison sliders. Come by and try them!”

Chefs Wilks and Colleen Medley: sweet and savory

When chefs Wilks and Colleen Medley heard that the Old Blinking Light was for sale, back in 2013, they started joking about buying the space. But it soon became serious business and they got it. After doing massive renovations they opened their restaurant, Medley, on May 28th.

The young and energetic couple brings to Taos a wealth of experience, a passion for casual fine dining, and a very eclectic background. He went to engineering school at Boston University and she graduated from business school at Fredonia.

After discovering their interest in cooking, they both attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Yet they didn’t meet there—their paths crossed at a restaurant in Washington DC. Afterwards, their culinary journey took them to Los Angeles, where she worked for Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air as a pastry chef and he ran Vibrato Grill & Jazz and a French restaurant in downtown LA.

Now, at Medley, her specialty is pastry and his is “everything else.”

“I bake whatever I like to eat,” she said. “I love French pastry; custards, cream caramel, pudding, and cakes.”

As for him, he doesn’t like to follow preconceived notions of what you can or can’t cook, but likes to put his own spin on every dish he makes.

Their grilled vegetable plate is a great example of a healthy and tasty entrée, artfully presented.

Betty Artes: nourishing body and soul

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Betty Artes learned to cook from her Italian grandmother.

“Food was at the center of all our family and social activities,” she said. “We would have big parrilladas, Argentinean-style grills, with traditional side dishes like empanadas, and Italian pasta such as gnochis and polenta.”

Artes came to the United States in 1962. She first lived in New York and later moved to Colorado, where she opened a restaurant, Casa Alvarez, in 1994.

“It was the fulfillment of a dream I always had—making people happy with food,” she said.  “We served traditional Mexican cuisine, but later expanded the menu and incorporated some Argentinean items like the Gaucho burrito (steak with chimichurri). Our line of chile sauces won the Chile Challenge year after year.”

Artes and her partner Daniel Escalante moved to Taos in May 2015. Here, they founded Casa Taos, a retreat and training center located just ten minutes from the Plaza.

“At Casa Taos we offer a healthy menu specifically designed for our guests and their dietary requests,” Artes said. “We always have pork green chile, which is gluten free and made with antibiotic-free pork, vegetarian and vegan chile verde, and New Mexican red chile. We also use seasonal ingredients, most of which come from our organic garden. Our goal is to maintain an art and activism center where we nourish both body and soul.”

Enjoying Betty Artes’s food

 

 

 

Aquaponics: a cost-effective source of healthy food

Aquaponics 003

Image and story originally published in Taos News

Owning a self-sufficient home is a dream shared by many in eco-friendly Taos. And having a dependable, year-round source of food at home is an important element of it.

But the growing season is short here and traditional greenhouses can be difficult (and expensive!) to maintain. Plus they provide just vegetables and some of us may want protein as well.

The solution can be an aquaponic system.

Aquaponics: the basics

Aquaponics is an environmentally-friendly farming method—the result of combining aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil).

Basically, it is a system designed to grow fish and plants together, in an enclosed space which can be located inside the house or in a separate structure. The fish waste becomes the food source used by the plants to grow. In turn, the plants provide a natural filter for the water where the fish live.

How does the system work?

Pipes gravity-feed water from the fish tank to the grow beds, which can be filled with gravel or clay pebbles. Plants need no chemical fertilizers, since all the nutrients are constantly provided by the fish waste.

The bacteria in the fish tank convert the nitrites from the waste into nitrates, and they become the main nutrient source for the plants.

The system is mostly self sufficient, with the only requirement of adding food for the fish.

The water is constantly recycled. Just a small amount should be added occasionally, to compensate for what is lost by evaporation.

It is a closed-loop system with minimum waste, which makes it ideal for our desert environment, as well as a dependable source of protein and vegetables.

Plants and fish

Leafy plants like lettuce and herbs like cilantro and parsley grow easily and fast in the aquaponics system, but strawberries, tomatoes and cucumbers also do well.

As for the fish, tilapia is the most common, though koi, crappie, and sunfish can be used too. It is recommended to start with inexpensive ones, like goldfish. Once the system is established, edible varieties, like trout and carp, can be added.

The general plant-to-fish ratio is four plants for every pound of fish, though it may vary according to the species used.

The cost

After the initial set-up of the system, that may start around five hundred dollars, the maintenance costs are quite low, consisting in power for the pump (unless you use solar panels) and food for the fish.

An aquaponics workshop in Taos

Tawnya and JD Sawyer have been dedicated to practicing and teaching aquaponics since 2009. They operate Flourish Farm, a 3,200 square feet aquaponics farm in Denver, Colorado.

They provide aquaponic training, curriculum development, consulting services and support programs to individuals, schools, institutions and whole communities through Colorado Aquaponics.

On September 13th they brought an aquaponics workshop to Taos, sponsored by NotForgotten Outreach. It covered the basic system history, challenges and benefits, main components and designs, among other topics.

More than thirty people attended the workshop. It concluded with a “farm tour” that was held at our house.

Our experiment: from greenhouse to aquaponics

After taking a workshop early this year with Colorado Aquaponics, through NotForgotten Outreach, my husband Gary James decided to build a system inside our greenhouse, turning it into an aquaponic space.

He installed a fish tank, a media bed, which supports heavier root plants, and a deepwater culture raft system that is better suited to grow lighter plants. He also added a vertical system to grow herbs.

“Due to the cold climate here, the most challenging part is to provide a structure that can maintain a suitable growing environment during the winter,” he said. “Before installing the system, I created a double wall with rigid greenhouse plastic to provide a dead airspace in the walls and I also insulated the roof.”

Our original crop was mostly lettuce. Now we have lettuce, tomatoes and basil, which we transplanted from the garden. We plan to add strawberries and possibly some more herbs in the next few months.

Below: the process

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To find out more about Colorado Aquaponics visit http://www.coloradoaquaponics.com.

 

PärCht Bottleshop + Bites: the place to quench your thirst

PärCht Bottleshop + Bites

Nathaniel Evans and Monserrat Oyanedel celebrate their third wedding anniversary at PärCht.

Originally published in Taos News

When Nicolette Casale and Kevin Hunter opened PärCht on April 15th they had a clear picture in mind—they knew exactly what they wanted to create in the cave-like space under The Gorge Bar and Grill, which had been empty for a long time.

With an extensive background in the wine and liquor distribution industry, the couple conceptualized the place from the ground up to offer both a bar experience and a full retail shop.

“We are small by design,” Hunter said. “We don’t want to be overwhelmingly big or sell exactly the same thing that you can find in the grocery store.”

“This is a boutique-style shop where clients can have charcuterie and cheese, spreads and jams, and a carefully selected variety of wine and beer,” said Casale. “People can also take home anything that is on our menu, from wines and beer to the Serrano ham to the different kinds of cheese we serve.”

They are affiliated with The Gorge Bar and Grill, which is their sister restaurant.

A happy couple celebrates at PärCht

The walls are decorated with work by New Mexican artists, some of them local like El Moises, and others from Albuquerque.

All the photographs are from Taos-based artists who exhibit in the gallery across the hall.

“Our goal is create an inviting, casual and comfortable atmosphere,” Casale said. “This is the kind of place where you can come with friends, chat and have a glass of wine or a beer, or spend a romantic evening with your partner.”

Which is exactly what Nathaniel Evans and Monsterrat Oyanedel were doing on Tuesday, July 7th.

The couple decided to celebrate their third wedding anniversary at PärCht.

“This is our favorite place to relax and have a good time,” Oyanedel said. “We have been PärCht regulars since day one. It has a great selection of good wines and awesome costumer service.”

“When we opened, at first we thought this would be mostly a tourist destination,” Hunter said. “But we were pleasantly surprised to see that locals love it too. Many of our patrons are from Taos and we are very grateful for that.”

The products: wine and beer

PärCht offers a global selection of wines (twenty different kinds by the glass) and five drafts of beer.

The wines include Vara “Silverhead” Cava from Spain, Gruet Blanc de Noir from New Mexico, Nicolas Feuillatte Brut and Chateu la Coustarelle Cahors from France, and Bisceglia “Gudarra” Aglianico from Italy, among others.

Featured beer drafts are Bosque “The Last Straw” Hefe, New Belgium “Rampant” Imperial IPA, Stone “Go To” IPA, Scrimshaw Pilsner, and Deschutes River Ale.

Bites, boards and more

PärCht’s menu consists of light fare such as “bites”—buratta cheese, heirloom tomato and basil, chilled Castelveltrano olives or a sweet and savory combination of chocolate, fruit and nuts.

The boards feature a selection of cheese and charcuterie that are served with crostini, Lusty Monk Mustard and those delightful miniature French pickles known as cornichons.

Spreads, jams and more pickles are other accompaniment options. The crushed chickpeas, lemon and garlic spread can be added to any board, and there is always seasonal fruit compote.

I asked Hunter for his personal pairing favorite.

“Our two Spanish cheeses, Campo de Moltalban and Manchego, served with classic Serrano ham, can be nicely paired with almost any wine that has a bit of dryness, like Malvira Barbera D’Alba or Ontañon Reserva Tempranillo,” he said.

Coffee, tea and more

Though primarily a wine and beer shop, PärCht is designed to offer a nice tapas experience to nondrinkers as well.

The nonalcoholic beverages include iced and hot teas (jasmine green, Early Grey, and others), San Pellegrino and Badoit Sparkling Water, and Fiji Still.

They also serve Iconik Pour Over Coffee.

“Iconik is a coffee roaster from Santa Fe,” said Hunter. “I like because it isn’t too strong: it’s mild and really nice. We also pour it to order, which means we don’t make a big pot of coffee in the morning and serve stale coffee all day long. No, we grind and make every cup of coffee individually.”

“So you can have coffee and tapas,” Casale said, “and add a bite of dark chocolate, nuts and fruit. Delicious.”

The name

Hunter explains why they chose the phonetic spelling of the word “parched” as part of the shop’s name.

“When you are ‘parched,’ it means you are really dry and need to drink,” he said. “Here, we have already tasted many, many wines in order to offer what are, in our opinion, the best brands to quench your thirst so you are not ‘parched’ anymore.”

“We didn’t want anything generic,” Casale said. “And PärCht is definitely unique.”

Plans for the future

Casale and Hunter are planning to organize wine and beer tasting events.

“We are also going to add some dessert options later on, in August,” she said. “And maybe serve diners some nights. There is a lot we have in mind. Stay tuned, and come to visit us.”

PärCht is located at 103 East Plaza Taos, New Mexico

Phone: (575) 758-1994

http://www.parcht.com/

https://www.facebook.com/parcht

Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 12 noon to 9 p.m.

 

Amina’s Children Boutique: a business brings community and family together

SymOwner Symone Arguello-Dada

Originally published in Taos News

Three years ago Symone Arguello-Dada came to Taos with no car, no money, and no job. She was eight and a half month pregnant.

“I got a part-time job at El Monte Sagrado in the accounting department,” she said. “I also bought a hot dog cart so I could spend time with my little girl and still make some money.”

People came to know her as “the hot dog lady of Taos.” She brought her cart to the John Dunn Shops in the weekends and Taos Plaza Live on Thursdays, during the summer.

A brick-and-mortar store

Last September Arguello-Dada learned that a space would be available at the John Dunn Shops (where G. Robinson Old Prints & Maps used to be) and “a light bulb went off in her head.”

“I saw it as an opportunity to offer trendy clothes for children,” she said. “Here, there are only two places when people can get children’s clothes: Wal-Mart and Bealls. I had troubles finding the kind of dresses that I wanted my daughter Amina to wear so I rented the space and opened the boutique. I named it after my daughter because she inspired me to take that leap of faith. ”

The walls are decorated with photos and sketches of Amina modeling the merchandise.

“The photos were taken by Liz McCabe and the sketches were done by local artist David Borenstein,” Arguello-Dada said. “They have been so helpful and nice!”

The merchandise

Amina’s Children Boutique carries clothes, toys and shoes for infants and children up to six years old kids.

“We have fancy, classy, trendy, and unique clothes for boys and girls,” Arguello-Dada said. “I order the items I like, in the styles I love, and I hope that my clients enjoy them as much as I do. I now have beautiful dresses for the holidays, as well as tuxedos and cardigans, and many winter jackets.”

She also has sweaters, socks and beanies and will be getting more winter clothes soon.

“Don’t forget our toys,” she said. “I have everything, from rattles to educational games, like a USA Map Puzzle.”

A new concept for diaper bags

Recently, Arguello-Dada began carrying Betsey Johnson purses and handbags.

“All her products are fun and trendy,” she said. “I also want to change the image of the diaper bag. I am offering a few big purses that could be used for diapers. They are stylish and easy to clean. Perfect for chic moms!”

Chewable jewelry

Among the most interesting items one can find in the store are the chewable necklaces, a special kind of jewelry for both babies and mothers.

The Baltic Amber teething necklaces can be worn by boys or girls.

“It’s a natural, drug-free way to relieve the symptoms of teething in babies and toddlers,” Arguello-Dada said. “And they look pretty so kids are attracted to them.”

There are also chewable bead necklaces (“Chewbeads”) designed for mothers, available in a variety of colors.

“You know how babies are always grabbing their mother’s necklaces and earrings,” Arguello-Dada said. “Well, now they can do it safely. Made out of silicone beads (similar to pacifiers), Chewbeads necklaces are soft on babies’ gums and can be easily cleaned.”

Amina’s place

One of Arguello-Dada’s main goals with the store is to encourage her daughter, Amina, to follow her own dreams.

“This is really Amina’s place,” she said. “Sometimes in the evening she comes here and helps me choose outfits. She would say, ‘Mom, let’s go to my store and hang pretty clothes there.’ That convinces me that I made the right decision when I opened the boutique. I hope Amina inherits it someday.”

Help from the community

Since Arguello-Dada works during the week at El Monte Sagrado, she counts on a committed team of volunteers to keep the store open every day.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child,” she said. “Well, it takes a community to keep a merchant in business. I want to thank Polly Raye, my generous landlady who believed in me when I approached her about the store, and my parents, who have helped me immensely. They are my rock!”

Before Arguello-Dada opened the boutique her father, Andres Arguello, painted the place and built all the shelves while her mother helped choose the merchandise and take care of Amina.

“Then there are the great and dedicated volunteers who want to see me succeed and are making this venture possible,” she said. “I couldn’t keep Amina’s Children Boutique if it were not for them.”

She also wants to thank the many people who knew her as “the hot dog lady” and are now spreading the word about the store.

“Business is a way to bring family and community together,” she said.

The Halloween Party

A Children’s Halloween Party with carnival games, a costume contest and plenty of treats will take place on Saturday, October 31st from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Taos Plaza, Teresina Lane, John Dunn Shops and Bent Street. Arguello-Dada, like most merchants at John Dunn Shops, plans to participate.

She has her costume ready. Every year, for Halloween, Arguello-Dada crochets special outfits for her daughter and for herself.

“Last year, Amina was Little Red Riding Hood I was the wolf,” she said. “This year, she will be Snow White and I will be the Evil Queen.”

With two jobs and the responsibilities of being a single mother, I wonder how she still finds time to crochet

“I do it late and night to wind down, after Amina is asleep and I have finished my orders,” she said. “It’s so relaxing! I love it, and I love my job. Thank you, Taos, and all the wonderful people who keep me in business!”

Amina’s Children Boutique is located at 124D Bent Street

Phone: (575) 770-2963

Hours: Mondays through Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.