La Montañita Coop will proceed with plans to take over Santa Fe's Marketplace Natural Grocery. My previous story on the subject incorrectly stated that the proposed deal would be subject to a vote by the membership. In fact, the decision on whether or not to bring the Marketplace under La Montañita's wing was made by the coop's board of directors. According to the Coop's Michelle Franklin, three community meetings the Coop hosted in Albuquerque and Santa Fe during October garnered enough positive feedback for the board to give the project the green light. Franklin says the deal is moving ahead slowly but that papers should be signed by January 2005. The Marketplace is now privately owned by Jill Markstein; by joining with La Montañita, it would become, like the coop, community-owned.
Still need a pumpkin? Haul the little ones out to McCall's Pumpkin Patch in Edgewood. This huge pumpkin farm sells only to group tours during the week but on the weekend it's open to the public. Take I-40 East to exit 196; follow the signs to the farm. Once you're there, you'll pay $8 per grownup and $6 per kid (kids under 2 are free), take a hayride out to the patch where you pick your own pumpkin (priced from $1 to $7) then catch a hayride back. There's also a corn maze, a little petting zoo and all sorts of other aggie ways for city kids to get dirty. For more information and to print out a coupon for a dollar off admission, go to www.mccallpumpkinpatch.com. While you're out there, pick up a couple extra little pumpkins for pies and pepitas.
Bring your own cup and get it filled for free at the new City Roast Coffee (4842 Hardware NE, 217-0469). This little shop, located in the industrial area near the old Midnight Rodeo, has a brilliant idea for luring new customers into their shop. City Roast wants you to come in and sample their house blend coffee in the hopes that you'll come back later for more, so they're giving it away for free. The shop boasts a full espresso bar, pastries, bagel and burritos, along with free WiFi access. Check it out between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Next time your kneecaps are nuzzled, they could taste like pumpkin pie. All right, that's a little misleading, but pumpkin pie knees were what I thought of when Michelle Mead, of Chez d'Or (Second Street and Gold) called to tell me that her salon would be offering body scrubs, massages and pedicures with nutmeg- and ginger-infused oils. Mead calls the treatments Autumn Bliss and plans to treat clients to apple cider and pumpkin/chocolate truffles. Is this restaurant news? No. Do I want people to drool when they get close enough to smell me? Yes.