Food is how we nurture cross-culturally. It is a language that is universal.
At Topia, where nurture meets nature, nurturing is intentionally demonstrated in the most direct and tangible way during meal time.
Here are the main ways our team serves and nurtures during meal time, and why we believe this to be a vital element many retreat centers are missing.
Your guests will not be starving.
“Are my guests going to be starving?” is actually a frequently asked question from retreat leaders. To me, this is not a surprise having led my own retreats. The answer is a hard and confident no; at Topia, your retreat guest will be loved on with plenty of delicious, healthy Mexican food.
It sounds fairly simple to satiate guests, but a number of things need to come together so that we can make sure of this:
- Food needs to be a balance of light and nourishing.
- Meals need to come out on time, in healthy, satisfying portions.
- Staff need to listen and be considerate of food sensitivities and preferences.
Our menu is “Mexican Healthy” taking the best of local, traditional cuisine and allowing chef Gregoria to use the happiest organic, local ingredients to give it a healthy twist. Balancing chilaquiles or chile relleno with fruit salad or vegan chickpea scramble is how we offer diversity in careful planning: sometimes you need something light, and sometimes you need food to stick to your ribs.
With a professional team that cares, we understand the basics of meal planning for large groups. We know how to accommodate for allergies, or sensitivities, or even guests who simply don’t like cilantro (i.e., yours truly).
We know that without the foundation of reliable execution, nothing else matters. Food needs to be delicious. It needs to be enough. It needs to come out warm when guests are hungry, and it needs to make everyone smile.
We have an honor bar.
Retreat leaders shouldn’t overlook that retreat guests are on vacation. This may be the one vacation they get to take in a calendar year, and their first and only trip to Mexico. While a leader may prefer their guests to have an alcohol-free experience, an honor bar is an option, should retreat guests choose to rest and relax with a Pacifico, glass of wine, or one of Kris’s freshly shaken homemade Margaritas.
We aren’t ascetic monks here. We are advocates for a balanced and happy lifestyle. For some, that may mean a drink on retreat.
You sit, and we serve.
The act of actually serving meals is a timeless act of caring that Kris, Karen, and I all deeply enjoy. When we bring out beautiful, fresh family-style plates our talented chef has prepared, it is an opportunity to connect with you. We are able to bridge the gap between only names on a list, and your bright and shining faces. It is a chance to hear your stories, to make new friends, and to play host to you, especially our leaders.
As leaders, it is so important to be able to receive care too. We know how incredibly hard you have worked to market, plan, and fill this retreat that is unfolding before your eyes. We know that you, too, need time to recharge. We know that you only have so much availability to connect 1:1 with your retreat guests. So taking not only the logistical aspects of meals and service off your plate but also being another source of connection and care for your guests, is added benefit.
While we trust that our hired team would do a fabulous job hosting you all during mealtime, we believe there is simply no substitute for the presence of those who have invested their heart into the vision of Topia. In addition, nothing could be more rewarding for Kris and I than getting to nurture you in our home with our favorite healthy Mexican dishes, and to see the smiles that bring you back year after year.
Ready to host your next retreat with us? Fill out a retreat proposal to get the ball rolling.