Taking a bow: Chocolatier Hayward Simoneaux

Hayward Simoneaux, owner of Todos Santos Chocolates and Confections.

Todos Santos Chocolates and Confections — a go-to downtown stop for loyalists of the cocoa bean — is closing shop and melting away Oct. 10.

The coronavirus economy has hammered owner Hayward Simoneaux since the first business lockdown.

“Business has been down 80 percent three months in a row,” Simoneaux said.

His lease at Sena Plaza is ending, and Simoneaux said he sees no reason to renew.

“I can’t invest in Christmas to have another coronavirus wave hit us and shut us down again,” Simoneaux said. “It seems like the right thing to do.”

Simoneaux has been evaluating the fate of Todos Santos since COVID-19 swept into New Mexico in mid-March. He has had the chocolate-and-other-stuff shop at the back of Sena Plaza since 1999.

“It has been kind of a process of shutting down for a couple months,” he said. “When we reopened at the end of May, it was pretty grim. ‘Give it through the summer,’ I said. It would be the telltale thing. Summer was awful. My lease is coming up right about now.”

Easter was perhaps the worst time for Simoneaux, falling on April 12, in the very depths of a lockdown.

“I lost all of my Easter chocolate,” he said, adding that involved “hundreds of boxes” from France, Belgium, Italy and local artisans.

Todos Santos

Actress and Tesuque resident Ali MacGraw has been a frequent customer at Todos Santos since the shop opened in 1999.

As Simoneaux talked about Todos Santos, actress Ali MacGraw wandered in, as she has for all 21 years Simoneaux has been in business.

“I like especially the incredible eye and imagination of Hayward,” MacGraw said. “Almost on any given day I love almost anything here.”

Simoneaux’s dusted cocoa almonds especially made MacGraw swoon.

“Certainly coming in here is an addiction crisis,” she said.

Before the pandemic, Todos Santos’ business was 75 percent chocolate and 25 percent other items. Nearly all the chocolate has been gone for two weeks. The store is instead filled with an eclectic assortment of curios, ornaments, tchotchkes and some candies. Simoneaux’s been retrieving much of it from storage.

Simoneaux does not have a post-Todos Santos life mapped out.

“My loose plan is to piece it together for a year, make a living somehow,” he said. “In a year, maybe, reopen something different somewhere else.”

(41) comments

Tom Hyland

How about a review of the real numbers regarding life and death on planet earth? Gary Barnett, retired economist living in Montana, has compiled the numbers for the year 2020 and I salute this reality over so many conflicting and hysterical reports.


Mark Blackburn

The problem people is the "Chinese Virus". China is our biggest threat yet nobody in this thread says a word. President Trump will push back on China and most likely we will fight a limited war in the South China Sea. Its a new world and be prepared for a very very rough ride ahead.

Tom Hyland

Well, I'm glad you mentioned it, Mark. China itself is the biggest threat to freedom in this world. And it appears that every country is slowly being transformed to become the Chinese model... totalitarian... cashless... a police state where the people are spied upon within every movement they make. America may have the largest prison population in the world but China doesn't release official numbers of who they disappear entirely. Though hydroxychloroquine has been proven to expel the onset of viral contagion, Trump is adamant that a vaccine will be "delivered in a very powerful way" by the military. When I ponder what the military does in a powerful way I think of murder. The virus psy-op has been more effective than "The Owners"; as George Carlin used to refer to them; can believe. Reading the comments from the surrendering cowards below is but a microcosm of what the average American is made of these days. Here's a few good quotes from some truly brave Americans that I wish people would strive to realize:

"If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our country men."  - Samuel Adams

"If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it." - Mark Twain

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men experience it as a whole. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

Oshana Spring

Mark, I am not too thrilled with your trajectory for this nation. Why would I want to fight the Chinese people, over what? Perhaps I would like to help them gain independence and freedom from oppression, but meanwhile, I would be loosing the opportunity to safeguard my own which is currently highly jeopardized. Instead of fomenting war consider assessing the programming of minds that is creating a huge divide in this country. I would recommend seeing The Social Dilemma on Netflix describing the creation by AI of opposing factions in the US described by whistle blowers exposing the algorithm technique. It's the old divide and conquer.This is a battle for your mind!

Tom Hyland

Welcome back, Barry. Checking in to see that your propaganda is being swallowed faithfully? You must be getting paid to scold people and tell them to surrender. Tell everybody to stay scared, give up hope, and await their vaccine. All the candy stores, the hair salons, the restaurants... every private mom & pop store can up and die. Won't that be nice and SAFE Barry? But you know who will NEVER lose their livelihood? You know where not one job has been lost? GOVERNMENT. And probably you too... because there is no one who will write the lies you write and do it for free. Every customer who visited Todos Santos wore a mask... those masks that are supposed to protect everyone, even though it's printed on the box that they don't protect you from covid19. Read the box, Barry. There's Ali McGraw wearing her mask but the store is shutting down because there were hardly any customers. So stop with the lies. Stop telling us that only big box stores are safe. Nobody believes that. But you're getting paid to write this stuff but we see through your lies. Check back in often. Write more lies. We're simply fascinated by your tenacity... you got a lot of nerve, for sure.

Barry Rabkin

Nope, I didn’t say Big Box stores are safe. I said that having only Big Box stores open, people would have fewer places to go while outside their homes. Of course, the virus is in Big Box stores. The point is to limit the places that any person can go. (I wish I was being paid for what I write. It’s just the horrendous ignorance displayed by the people who don’t understand the health impact of this highly infectious virus makes me want to puke.)

Tom Hyland

Puke in your mask, Barry. Never take it off. This is your religion... you believe. As Bill Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid." This plannedemic is all about the economy. The virus, which is real, but 99.6% will never contract, is a scare tactic to force the population of earth into a cashless society. The Chinese plan, called social credit score, punishes people for any arbitrary violation of anything the authorities choose. Then your cashless money chip is rendered useless until you submit and pay for your crime... such as crossing the street before the light turned green. The enemy here isn't government or Big Pharma and Big Banks, which will always be composed of power-hungry control freaks who pray on humanity. It's you, Barry. You are the enemy. You and the ignorant gullible masses that parrot the propaganda and contribute to the panic, the delusion that all of us are powerless and must obey. If you're not getting paid to lie to everyone you encounter then you're even more stupid than I thought. Obey Barry, stay on your knees. You like it down there.

Barry Rabkin

Actually, I'd much rather see you dropped into the lava flows of a live volcano.

I'm cursed with being educated: I believe in science and medical advice. That's a horror show, I realize. But because of my education, I firmly believe in managing contagion even if that means businesses go out of business. Saving lives and ensuring our healthcare system are more important than businesses staying afloat.

The Governor remains absolutely correct in her lawful actions: move slowly, move cautiously, and save lives.

In the case of this pandemic, Clinton is wrong: it is not the economy; it is saving lives.

Smart medical advice is not propaganda. In this COVID-19 situation, it is your phenomenal ignorance that is the propaganda.

Jo Douglas

It’s heartbreaking to see this business go. You will be missed!

carolyn dalessandro

Loews and Walmart are still open through this whole nightmare?. Why are they allowed to stay open but not small businesses? Sorry to see another business end.

Barry Rabkin

The Big Box stores are allowed to stay open for very logical reasons: COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus, there is no vaccine, people need to stay in their homes for as many hours as possible every day (unless they are essential workers), and by not allowing small shops to be open the Governor is striving to ensure that people do not go from place to place while outside of their home. Maximize time in your home (or yard); minimize time spent outside your home. Each of us is a potentially infected person; no one of us has the freedom to infect others.

asil banese

And that attitude is why this Insanity will continue

Manny NoMask


Tom Hyland

To further illustrate the insanity you endorse daily, here's an article from Eric Peters, the Libertarian Car Dude, in which he's included a screen shot of the box of masks that warns the public that these masks do not protect you from viruses. The video below of a woman being arrested by a guy not wearing a mask is worthy of noting. Are you a shill for the mask industry? https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2020/09/25/diaper-report-9-24-20/

Caleb Ray

While it is very sad to see these business close, the fault is with the virus, and those so foolish and self absorbed that they refused, and still refuse, to follow basic protective measures. Had the state followed the lead of other Republican governors and"leaders", we would have many, many more sickened and dead. The blood, literal and economic, is on the hands of the deniers, and others who put profit over life. I only hope that they may find their soul someday and choose to protect life instead of promoting sickness and death.

Tom Hyland

Caleb, you've got it so wrong I'm astounded. The fault is not the virus... the fault is almost everybody obeyed and stayed indoors and didn't go shopping. Why have they let so many criminals out of jail? Because the warden didn't want his little darlings to catch the virus? If masks work so well, and you're locked up 24/7, why don't they give everybody in jail a fresh new mask daily? No... let the convicts out of jail so they're out on the streets thieving and raping and murdering again. Real nice. So if the masks are SO effective then why did everybody stay inside and essentially quit doing everything? Because it's a drag going outside. So many diaper-faced zombies out there scaring children and making everyone so depressed. The Republican governor of South Dakota NEVER shut down her state. And nothing happened in South Dakota that was any different than every other state that locked down. They had their cases, they had their deaths.... mostly in the top 20% of the age group, and they had their recoveries. Todo Santos was an amazing place. An artist who was running a candy store! Imagine that. That kind of energy is impossible to duplicate. Santa Fe and the candy store and everything beautiful about this town is dying because it was planned that way. Line up for the vaccine... next. Adios.

Barry Rabkin

Caleb is 100% correct. You, sir, are wrong.

asil banese


asil banese

100% correct on Tom's side

Oshana Spring

I am so sad that Santa Fe is crumbling because of a pandemic that never was. On August 26 the CDC updated exclusively COVID19 deaths to total only 10,000 nation wide. Why have we allowed our city and our Constitutional Rights to be so compromised over a pandemic that never was? Open our city! If MLG does not give her OK, which is unsubstantiated by law, one way or the other, let the people speak and save our city. No legislation has ever passed to support this lockdown!

Lee DiFiore

"Why have we allowed our city and our Constitutional Rights to be so compromised over a pandemic?" One word! DEMOCRAT. Remember come November all the way up and down the ticket.

Caleb Ray

Two words: deadly virus.

Tom Hyland

Two words: Gross Ignorance. Everybody believed and everybody obeyed. The entire world was ordered to shut down. No more schools, churches, barber shops, gyms, candy stores, art galleries, restaurants... you name it... stay away except what was deemed "essential." Everybody obeyed and Santa Fe was murdered. Todos Santos dies because there was no Indian Market, no Spanish Market, no Chamber Music Festival, no Opera, no natives selling jewelry on the Plaza, no corner art displays, no Zozobra, no nothing. Go to Albertsons, wear a mask and get home as quick as you can. All for the flu. There have been flues far worse than this... 1969... 1957... and the world did not shut down. This is all very carefully orchestrated by the big banks, big pharma, and corrupt government to destroy the world economy. It's working very well. The "vaccine" which will be delivered "in a very powerful way" to quote the President is composed of unknown ingredients coursing through your body with no accountability for the manufacturer. You're going to take this thing and you have no where to turn if it harms you because the manufacturers have been excused of all liability. Keep believing that government is here to help and "we're all in this together" because the powers that be depend on gullible sheep to obey.

Carolyn DM

LMAO!! FOUR words!! "I downplayed the virus"!! As was heard around the world a couple of weeks ago!! And the brainwashed idiots are still blaming it on MLG! And yes! It will be DEMOCRAT up and down the ticket for most of us, while the rest are still wallowing in their ignorance.

Caleb Ray

This ignorance and denial is why we are still seeing so many people continue to get sick and die, and why lockdowns are required, and last so long.

Carolyn DM

Exactly. The stupidity is just mind blowing!!

Mark Stahl

There is no constitutional right to spread a deadly virus that has contributed to deaths of over 200,000 Americans, an amount that would be far greater if conscientious people had not taken the advice of medical experts and responsible leaders to take the necessary, if unfortunate and inconvenient, precautions.

Tom Hyland

You must have heard that 200,000 have died from the coronavirus on the news. Were you watching television news? Apparently you are unaware that the CDC entirely refigured the death toll regarding what caused so many deaths. Many medical professionals have shown, with evidence, that the covid threat has been greatly overstated. According to the CDC’s own data, I believe the report was made public on September 4th, of the alleged 200,000 Americans killed by covid, only 9,000 actually were. We are talking of covid ALONE. Got it? The remainder had 2.6 co-morbidities that in fact killed them. The CDC reports that in only 6% of the reported covid deaths was covid the only cause. For 94% of the covid deaths, there were on average 2.6 comorbidities or additional causes of death.


Tom Hyland

Governor Michelle and the Santa Fe city council have effectively murdered Santa Fe. BUT THE VIRUS!!! Nobody believes this anymore. Government officials wear masks whenever the cameras are rolling but they do whatever they like, not so the peons who must obey. The Roswell city council voted to ignore the governor's unlawful orders over two months ago. Nothing extraordinary happening in Roswell. No carts filled with the dead rolling through the streets. If folks want to wear a mask then they do so. All the businesses are open. What has happened to Santa Fe is criminal.

Mark Stahl

Chaves county currently has an infection rate three times greater than Santa Fe county and a fatality rate four times higher. Ignoring common sense precautions just perpetuates the pandemic.

Tom Hyland

Reading the New Mexico Department of Health website Santa Fe has reported 945 covid cases up to now. Chaves County has reported 1,066. Roswell is very likely the oldest age group on average in this state. Roswell has always been a retirement town... so it is expected that so many people in the highest age groups will succumb to this virus. As always it's the additional illnesses that exacerbate the death toll.

Mark Stahl

Chaves county has less than half the population of Santa Fe county and Santa Fe is also a retirement town. Sadly, many Americans confuse selfishness with freedom. Masks, social distancing and closings were designed to limit the spread of the virus and protect others, especially the most vulnerable.

Carlos Montoya


Carolyn DM

Well, no. That would be Mr. Trumpf who has effectively murdered the entire country. Not to mention he failed in his duties in protecting this country when he admitted he downplayed the virus, which was heard around the world.

Manny NoMask

Oh hush. You would be screaming bloody murder if Trump had ordered a nationwide lockdown. NM was already bringing up the rear in every health and economic category. Now we'll be dead last...for decades. This is a pathetic little state with no appetite for success.

Barry Rabkin

The Governor's PHOs are not unlawful. She has the legal authority to issue her PHOs during this pandemic. Nothing that has happened to Santa Fe is criminal (well, except the horrendous ignorance of people who think this pandemic is just like the seasonal flu or believe they have the freedom to infect others ... that is criminal.)

Lee DiFiore

Ring up another one for MLG. Cha-ching!

Red Eagle

Very sad to see this shop go away. Another clear indication of how important tourism is to the local economy. Have to get this economy opened back up before the holidays!

david J.

Sad news for Todos Santos fans, we MUST reopen, or we will see this scenario repeat throughout our whole country.

Steve Spraitz

Doesn’t the ‘taco czar’ own that building ?

Paula Lozar

Sorry to see the shop go, but I fear it's another case of sky-high rent and landlords who won't cut their COVID-impacted tenants any slack. I wish him luck, and hope he opens another shop in town in the future.

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