El Nicho's History
El Nicho was founded in 1986 by Madeline Dunn, a Massachusetts native who relocated to Santa Fe to start a new life. Tired of the hectic pace of an ER nurse, Madelyn envisioned creating a unique shop that carried all local works of art. That concept has continued throughout the years. Along with that vision, the shop has also become a place where many family members have worked together to create something very special.
Over several years Madeline forged significant relationships with numerous local artists, the most enduring being the Ortega family of woodcarvers, Ben Ortega and his children and grandchildren Pete, Joe, Mary Agnes, Louise, Angelo , Mike, Antonio, James and Jonas.
In 1992 Madelyn's niece Debi relocated to Santa Fe from Massachusetts and began to assist her aunt in the running of El Nicho. Madeline retired and handed over the keys to Debi. Debi formed a unique partnership with family friend Bob Salkeld, a former scientist in the military space program. Bob passed away in 2018, and Debi continues to manage El Nicho.