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 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