Vinaigrette helped KOB 4 Pay it 4ward to the Los Lunas children’s home El Ranchito de los Niños.
Like most restaurants, Vinaigrette is facing tough times.
“We’re doing about a third of the business that we would normally do at this time,” said Evette Abeyta, general manager of Vinaigrette Albuquerque.
“And we’re working with half of the staff in our kitchen right now so it has been a struggle to try to balance out everything and just trying to still provide the freshest nourishing salads and soups that we possibly can do,” she added.
Abeyta said it’s been a challenge providing the level of customer service they’re used to.
“We want people to come in and brighten up their day, not only with nourishing food, but a warm friendly environment and excellent customer service and it’s hard to provide that when we can’t even show a smile on our face or, you know, have that rapport with our customers,” she said. “It’s just takeout and it’s like here’s your food. So we try to do the best that we can, but our dine-in seating is what we rely on most for our restaurant, and that patio seating— everybody loves our patio in the summer time.”
Luckily, the community has been there to support their farm-to-table vision.
“We have our farm in Nambe that we grow all summer long, and we provide the restaurants with fresh greens, vegetables, some fruits, and we try to source everything locally and organic as much as possible. We do pride ourselves being a healthy sustainable restaurant, so we do use all compostable to-go items,” Abeyta said.
Once the soups, salads and sandwiches were ready, KOB 4 packed them up and headed to the children’s home.
“El Ranchito de los Niños is a children’s home. It’s an alternative to foster care focused on keeping brothers and sisters together, so they’re not separated in foster care,” said Amy Kindrick, executive director of the home.
The home cares for 16 children—eight boys and eight girls—of all ages.
“I think that oftentimes when kids are placed into foster care they have the trauma of being removed from their parents. And then there’s the secondary trauma of being removed from their siblings because they have to go to different homes while they’re in care,” Kindrick said.
The home started in 2000. Kindrick said COVID has impacted their fundraising abilities.
“We’re not able to have any large scale fundraising events and that’s the primary way that we do get money for running this organization,” she said. “We don’t receive state or federal funding so the little, you know, $10 $20 donations that we get from the public are what really is our bread and butter.”
However, today Kindrick said they’re just thankful for a good meal on a cold day.
“We’re so appreciative and we love any, you know, free food is always great and it’s nice that the local restaurants are supporting us in this way. And we’re very, very grateful,” she said.