In a delicious commitment to serving more than good eats, a number of Santa Fe restaurants have made non-edible differences by serving the hungry, the sick, the neglected and the environment. There is no shortage of altruism.
Here's a sampling of restaurants that nourish communities with more than savory fare.
Serving the Hungry
Sage Bakehouse (535 Cerrillos Road, 820-7243) deserves acknowledgement for its charitable efforts. A true community partner, Sage donates approximately 2,000 pounds of bread to The Food Depot each week, feeding over 1,000 people everyday. Co-owner Andrée Falls humbly admits that although Sage has the supply to give to the unfortunate demand for donations, the credit goes to the food bank for providing the opportunity. “The Food Depot makes it easy for companies to do some good in the community,” she says.
Serving the Sick
Come to Jambo Café (2010 Cerrillos Road, 473-1269) for the Lamu coconut pili pili shrimp, and stay for the chance to do something good. When you eat here, not only are you consuming delicious cuisine, you’re also contributing to a healthy future for Lamu, Kenya. The Jambo Kids Foundation, predominantly bankrolled from a percentage of the restaurant’s proceeds, funds the construction and operation of the town’s new “Jambo Kids Clinic.” This health clinic serves as a vital alternative to Lamu’s one run-down hospital and its sole doctor. Says Jambo owner and foundation founder, Ahmed Obo, “Jambo Café has provided for me. I am grateful it can also help me pay it forward to those less fortunate.”
Serving the Neglected
Restaurant Martin (526 Galisteo St., 820-0919) is proud to be a primary sponsor of The Horse Shelter, New Mexico’s largest rescue for abandoned, abused and neglected horses. The restaurant generates many donations through its wine program and catering service at the shelter’s annual fundraisers. “The Horse Shelter is near and dear to our hearts,“ explains co-owner Jennifer Rios. “Being supportive members of our community is the core to our concept of doing business.”
Serving the Environment
“We don’t think owning a business is just about short-term profit. It’s also about how we impact our community and the planet in the long run,” says co-owner of Dulce Bakery (1100 Don Diego Ave., 989-9966), Kirk Barnett. Hitting the environmental sweet spot, they treat the earth as kindly as they do their customers with good eats. Their eco-friendly ethos includes everything from water and energy conservation to the purchase of furniture manufactured from companies with sustainable practices. “Be Sweet” is more than just their tagline; it’s a philosophy for customer service and environmental stewardship.
If you want something done right, do it yourself. Adhering to this proverb, Vinaigrette (709 Don Cubero Alley, 820-9205) raises the bar on the sustainable standard: Seventy percent of the organic produce served during peak season is grown on owner Erin Wade’s 10-acre farm and harvested within hours of arriving to the bistro’s kitchen. You can’t get more local than growing it yourself. Wade explains, “Farming’s like fashion in that you must have your own style.” Her style is to ensure people leave Vinaigrette “feeling better than when they came in; the farm is part of that.”