New Mexican Restaurant Outlasts Pandemic

3/3/2021

Locally-owned restaurant, The Chile Pod, not only survives downtown reconstruction, but the COVID-19 pandemic as well.

...
View Full Transcript +

1

00:00:00,090 --> 00:00:03,270

A local chile champion

survived not only the pandemic

2

00:00:03,270 --> 00:00:06,330

but last year's reconstruction

of downtown Farmington

3

00:00:06,330 --> 00:00:09,210

through her determined

use of social media.

4

00:00:09,210 --> 00:00:10,680

You're watching the Local News Network,

5

00:00:10,680 --> 00:00:12,920

brought to you by Fast Signs of Durango.

6

00:00:12,920 --> 00:00:14,730

I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

7

00:00:14,730 --> 00:00:17,240

Tough-minded and strategic Monica Shultz,

8

00:00:17,240 --> 00:00:20,670

owner of The Chile Pod

restaurant on West Main Street,

9

00:00:20,670 --> 00:00:24,600

will mark the restaurant's

5-year anniversary on March 3rd.

10

00:00:24,600 --> 00:00:26,930

Hard to believe that it was just last May

11

00:00:26,930 --> 00:00:29,600

when she called in 17 of her 21 workers

12

00:00:29,600 --> 00:00:32,440

and gave them each their

last check and a letter

13

00:00:32,440 --> 00:00:34,620

to take to the unemployment office.

14

00:00:34,620 --> 00:00:36,040

She also gave employees

15

00:00:36,040 --> 00:00:38,250

who would have trouble

supporting their families

16

00:00:38,250 --> 00:00:41,110

20 pounds of meat from the kitchen,

17

00:00:41,110 --> 00:00:43,490

and then, she went back to work.

18

00:00:43,490 --> 00:00:45,860

But we've tried to tackle every hurdle,

19

00:00:45,860 --> 00:00:47,390

starting with the construction,

20

00:00:47,390 --> 00:00:48,930

with just a positive attitude,

21

00:00:48,930 --> 00:00:50,640

because what else are we going to do.

22

00:00:50,640 --> 00:00:53,460

We have no means to control that

23

00:00:53,460 --> 00:00:55,970

or the pandemic, so we just,

24

00:00:55,970 --> 00:00:58,010

I just advertised as much as I could.

25

00:00:58,010 --> 00:01:00,230

Daily, I'd get up every morning at 4:00 AM

26

00:01:00,230 --> 00:01:02,980

and I would just post every day.

27

00:01:02,980 --> 00:01:06,000

A lot of our business is a direct result

28

00:01:06,000 --> 00:01:08,600

of our social media.

29

00:01:08,600 --> 00:01:11,000

So we just, you know, advertise.

30

00:01:11,000 --> 00:01:12,900

We're very fortunate because

the city of Farmington,

31

00:01:12,900 --> 00:01:14,710

even though they were doing

this road construction,

32

00:01:14,710 --> 00:01:16,720

they also asked all their employees

33

00:01:16,720 --> 00:01:20,880

to support downtown and

were advertising as well.

34

00:01:20,880 --> 00:01:23,330

We did have a lot of support

from city government.

35

00:01:24,650 --> 00:01:26,380

What makes it all worth it for Schultz

36

00:01:26,380 --> 00:01:29,340

is working with her mother,

sister, and daughter,

37

00:01:29,340 --> 00:01:31,450

because most of the restaurant's recipes

38

00:01:31,450 --> 00:01:33,580

were staples in her household,

39

00:01:33,580 --> 00:01:36,000

growing up in Cuba, New Mexico.

40

00:01:36,000 --> 00:01:38,663

Then the red chile recipe

is what I was raised on.

41

00:01:39,980 --> 00:01:42,423

I might've added my own touch to it.

42

00:01:43,460 --> 00:01:44,930

We have a running joke in our family

43

00:01:44,930 --> 00:01:46,220

that I learned from the best,

44

00:01:46,220 --> 00:01:48,150

but I taught 'em the rest, cause I have,

45

00:01:48,150 --> 00:01:51,130

there's a little trick

that I do to my red chile.

46

00:01:51,130 --> 00:01:53,683

But honestly, really, it

came from my mom and dad.

47

00:01:55,230 --> 00:01:56,620

It's won People's Choice

48

00:01:56,620 --> 00:01:58,060

at the local chile cook-off

49

00:01:58,060 --> 00:01:59,740

four years in a row.

50

00:01:59,740 --> 00:02:01,480

Durango's Mac and Cheese Challenge

51

00:02:01,480 --> 00:02:04,360

voted hers the best twice in a row.

52

00:02:04,360 --> 00:02:06,160

The popular red chile macaroni

53

00:02:06,160 --> 00:02:08,330

with a chicharrone crumble, in fact,

54

00:02:08,330 --> 00:02:10,860

inspired her to open The Chile Pod.

55

00:02:10,860 --> 00:02:12,820

With a 4.6 rating on Yelp,

56

00:02:12,820 --> 00:02:16,210

words like awesome, tasty,

and authentic pop-up.

57

00:02:16,210 --> 00:02:18,430

But for Sarah S. from Texas,

58

00:02:18,430 --> 00:02:20,800

the food had a more profound effect,

59

00:02:20,800 --> 00:02:23,340

calling the red chile life-changing,

60

00:02:23,340 --> 00:02:25,860

life-affirming, and life-giving.

61

00:02:25,860 --> 00:02:28,060

Now, that's a good review.

62

00:02:28,060 --> 00:02:29,450

Like the other restaurants in town,

63

00:02:29,450 --> 00:02:32,010

she missed reopening The

Chile Pod for indoor seating

64

00:02:32,010 --> 00:02:34,030

when San Juan County positivity rates

65

00:02:34,030 --> 00:02:36,970

for COVID were 5.01%.

66

00:02:36,970 --> 00:02:39,560

The threshold for opening was 5%.

67

00:02:39,560 --> 00:02:41,400

But with the Main Street

construction finished,

68

00:02:41,400 --> 00:02:43,550

it won't be long before things are back

69

00:02:43,550 --> 00:02:45,680

to their customary busy-ness.

70

00:02:45,680 --> 00:02:48,770

Despite all the hurdles, she's grateful.

71

00:02:48,770 --> 00:02:50,550

We appreciate everybody's support.

72

00:02:50,550 --> 00:02:52,290

We've been supported by a lot of people.

73

00:02:52,290 --> 00:02:55,700

A lot of locals really have,

74

00:02:55,700 --> 00:02:57,170

we're getting to know their names.

75

00:02:57,170 --> 00:02:58,990

We got to see 'em a lot

more on a personal level

76

00:02:58,990 --> 00:03:00,810

now with a lot of the to-gos,

77

00:03:00,810 --> 00:03:02,070

so that's been really nice.

78

00:03:02,070 --> 00:03:04,290

We're just really grateful

that we're still here,

79

00:03:04,290 --> 00:03:06,480

almost one year later.

80

00:03:06,480 --> 00:03:09,423

I think we're about a

month short of a year.

81

00:03:10,740 --> 00:03:13,460

The first shutdown was March 14

82

00:03:13,460 --> 00:03:15,450

or something to that effect.

83

00:03:15,450 --> 00:03:16,470

We're just happy we're here.

84

00:03:16,470 --> 00:03:18,090

We're grateful.

85

00:03:18,090 --> 00:03:20,270

We look forward to serving

everybody in the future,

86

00:03:20,270 --> 00:03:21,350

and we appreciate if everybody

87

00:03:21,350 --> 00:03:23,710

come get their crave on

here at The Chile Pod.

88

00:03:23,710 --> 00:03:26,210

Located at 121 West Main Street,

89

00:03:26,210 --> 00:03:28,900

The Chile Pod is open

from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM,

90

00:03:28,900 --> 00:03:30,310

Monday through Friday.

91

00:03:30,310 --> 00:03:32,970

To see a menu or place a takeout order,

92

00:03:32,970 --> 00:03:36,080

go to cravethechilepod.com.

93

00:03:36,080 --> 00:03:37,840

Thank you for watching this edition

94

00:03:37,840 --> 00:03:39,330

of the Local News Network,

95

00:03:39,330 --> 00:03:41,030

brought to you by Fast Signs.

96

00:03:41,030 --> 00:03:42,230

I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

PAST FARMINGTON LOCAL NEWS STORIES

Need more Local FARMINGTON News?

Editorial Policy | Copyright © Local News Network Inc. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy
JOIN OUR TEAM