CANDLES GLOW IN THE NICHOS at Mija, a coffee, beauty, and elixirs boutique inside Santa Fe Village, a block and a half south of the Plaza. A directive, “Keep some room in your heart” arches over the largest of three nichos.
The Don Gaspar Avenue grab-and-go shop is the newest creation of Chainé Peña, who owned the Chainé gourmet cookie shop, which closed in September 2021. “I had a good problem at Chainé where we couldn’t meet the demand,” she says.
Chainé had outgrown its Water Street kitchen, so rather than jump into an expansion, Peña decided to take a step back and reevaluate her motives for owning a business in the first place. “I want to be with the community, hang out, chat, and provide a special experience,” she says.
A former Los Angeles makeup artist, yoga instructor, and baker, Peña spent a year working to realize her vision for Mija, a Spanish term for “my daughter,” which opened in January. When she saw the small Santa Fe Village space, she was immediately drawn to its rustic charm. Part coffee shop and part boutique, it fulfills Peña’s dreams. “This brings all of my worlds together,” she says.
Browse beauty products from Madame Lemy, BKind, and Ammu Beauty and jewelry by Amano Studio and Jools & Joplin while enjoying one of Peña’s house-made piñon-chocolate-chip cookies with a bizcochito chai. “The drinks are a sipping ritual,” Peña says, “this beautiful experience of slowing down and having this elevated drink.”
When a shop with a kitchen became available in Burro Alley this spring, Peña couldn’t help but grab it. With dreamy carved wooden doors, and more space to bake, the new shop offers the same products made by women-owned businesses, the same delicious drink menu, and an expanded offering of cookies and cake by the slice. Mija will take its former name, Chainé and open mid to late July. Keep an eye on Peña’s Instagram page for a firm date. 38 Burro Alley, Santa Fe. @chaine_santafe