Category: Eat & Drink2

Eat, Drink, Thrive: Taproot Reinvents Salem’s Food Culture

by J.M. Murdoch You can’t miss him. Well over six feet in height, black-brown dreadlocks tied back with a kerchief and hanging to his waist, and that contagious, bright smile which makes you feel like his oldest and most trusted friend. Christopher Holland spies me coming in the door to his new establishment, Taproot Lounge and Café, for our scheduled interview. “Buddy!” he yells, makes his way to me in two long strides and wraps me up in the best hug ever. (I learned that he calls everyone “Buddy,” but I guarantee it doesn’t make you feel any less...

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Taproot Goes Deep

This fall’s opening of Taproot Lounge and Café in downtown Salem is the culmination of years of planning by 36 year old owner and operator Christopher Holland, the hard work of many volunteers and the collaboration of a community. After graduating from business school, 5 years bartending at the Ram, and a real estate license, the Salem native began to wonder if it would be possible to take the positive values of both a coffee shop and a bar and combine them into a viable business model that he felt Salem really needed. In 2012 Holland began work on a business plan and his most important core values emerged. First, he wanted to create a gathering place that provided a safe environment, where customers felt a sense of belonging.  Also, he wanted to challenge the status quo of unhealthy business practices used – by reexamining where our food comes from and how it is prepared. “Good food is a human right,” Holland says.  “I want Taproot to stand for a fight against the larger picture as far as the way that our food goes and the way that our systems are.  Our bees are dying, our animals are dying, and our earth is hurting. I want to make a positive difference somehow.” The Taproot concept evolved into a daytime cafe with fresh juice, breakfast sandwiches, coffee and teas along...

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