This month’s featured business, Village Stop & Go/Tewa Lounge, is located in the heart of Questa right there at “The Light.” It is also at the heart of Questa in other ways—it is a community gathering place, as well as a convenience store, liquor store, and bar. People meet there for coffee in the morning starting at 7:30 am, or come a little later to pick up lunch or have a drink at the bar. The Tewa Lounge also serves as an event space for fundraisers to benefit community members and worthy causes.
The Village Stop & Go has been in business since the late 1980s. Berna Trujillo has been running the business for over 16 years. Her warm and friendly personality welcomes newcomers and keeps people coming back. For many community members, it is a frequent stop. Village Stop & Go is a perfect name!
For someone visiting the Stop & Go for the first time, you will be surprised that it functions as a little general store. Shoppers can find all kinds of things, including nail polish remover, additives for their gas tank, fishing stuff and bait—even two types of worms. Like any responsible purveyor of alcohol, Village Stop & Go offers an array of over-the-counter hangover remedies such as aspirin, Alka-Seltzer, Tylenol, Emergen-C, Motrin, etc. Good to know!
For the thirsty, there is an impressive array of beverages, everything from a Slush Puppy machine for the kids, to ubiquitous sodas. There is also a selection of refreshing natural sodas, vitamin drinks, and ice teas. Berna takes pride in offering local products, including New Mexico wines, craft beer, and liquors. Berna carries natural health remedies, such as osha root, elderberry syrup, raw honey, skin salves, and other local herbs, when available, as well as Young Living Essential Oils and products. There’s something for everyone at the Village Stop & Go.
Local products include Taos Bakes snacks, Santa Fe’s Zia Cola, Ginger Ale and Sandia Soda. The biggest surprise is being able to take home fresh or frozen pizzas, and salads that are delivered every Monday from Espanola’s Pizza Parlor, owned by Questeños Eric and Lisa Salazar. If you don’t want to take home a pepperoni, meat, ham and pineapple, or vegetarian pizza, you can purchase hot pizza by the big slice for $3 or “Parlor Peppers” cheezy baked jalapenos. Call ahead and they can bake a whole pizza for you, and you can join them for Monday Night Football!
The Stop & Go also offers other grab and go items, such as hot tornados, hot dogs, and corn dogs; fresh sandwiches and garlic pesto salad are delivered every Tuesday.
At the Tewa Bar, you will walk into a cozy, homy, atmosphere; a kiva fireplace warms the soul in the winter. They even have a massage recliner, so put in a dollar, close your eyes, and relax and enjoy. That’s my kind of Happy Hour! The bar offers plenty of options for those who do not drink alcohol—a variety of non-alcoholic beers as well as mocktails—non-alcoholic drinks like Margaritas, Whisky Sours, and Daquiris that alcohol can be added to, if desired.
Village Stop & Go has pool tables and hosts fundraising pool tournaments and bike runs for worthy causes, such as for Questa families who need help and organizations such as October’s Locks for Love event. These fundraisers often include raffles and door prizes and Berna usually provides the food herself, cooking up chile and Frito Pies. In addition, the bar sometimes features live music.
Berna stays busy, raising her three grandchildren, ages 4, 11, and 14; and she is also an active community member. She and fellow business owners, Jake and Jolton LaFore (formerly of the Wildcats Den) started the Questa Business and Entrepreneurial Network (QBEN) many years ago. They felt the need to connect and support local business owners in a social setting.
Berna has a good team in her family of employees. Her brother Antonio “Tony” Trujillo opens up the store Monday through Saturday at 7:30 am and serves a loyal band of coffee drinkers. COVID-19 slowed them down for a while (the bar was closed for 15 months), but they are now back in the saddle. They do not provide coffee to go; for that they send customers next door to Rael’s Coffee Shop. Victoria Lucero and Jolton LaFore are full-time employees and Angel Cardenas works one day per week.
Village Stop & Go is open seven days a week and closes at 9 or 10 pm, depending on how busy they are. Monday through Saturday they open at 7:30 am and on Sundays they open at noon. Visit them at 2436 Highway 522, in the heart of Questa, at the light. Give them a call at (575) 586-0696. Find Berna on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/berna.trujillo.1 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.