by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Soul of Photography

Practicing Gratitude

Kris Fillat-Buchanan grew up in Tierrasanta, went to Sierra High School, and played field hockey. A full-ride scholarship to the University of Iowa allowed her the necessary training to make the US Field Hockey team, for which she competed in the 1996 Olympics. Now, her life’s journey has brought her to Encinitas.


She loves living in Encinitas for many reasons: the vibe of the town, being able to surf, good food, yoga, and walkability. “It’s a dream!” Kris smiled. “We get to see the ocean every day – how special is that?” Living here for the past ten years, she’s realized how important it is to be aware and grateful and to give back. As the owner of the GOODONYA® organic cafe and creator of the organic electrolyte mineral drink 1051, Kris has had the opportunity to put her gratitude and awareness to practice, through her cafe and through her involvement as a Steering Committee member of Encinitas for Benefit.


Name: Kris Fillat-Buchanan
Community: Encinitas
Profession: Cafe owner
Hobbies: Surf, yoga, and snowboarding
Favorite Spots in 92024: Boneyard Beach, walking the beach and the stairs from Swami’s to Cardiff

faces_buchanan2Kris believes Encinitas for Benefit is an important organization for the community, as she explained, “I fully believe we can’t continue to only focus on profit as businesses. We need to start taking care of the earth, and treating staff well so they can thrive. It’s all connected.” To get involved with Encinitas for Benefit, join as a community or business member at

Kris grew up eating junk food and even has a Coca-Cola tattoo on her ankle. “P.S.,” she laughed, “tattoos are permanent!” She developed an autoimmune disease of the thyroid and realized almost everything she’d been taught about food was wrong. “This is one reason we are so adamant to serve only organic items in the cafe,” Kris confirmed. “It matters.” Her companies are Certified B Corps, registered with the state as Public Benefit Corporations. This means they literally exist to do good. They got involved to help other businesses in town transition to a new way of doing business – considering profit, but also the people and the planet. They made decisions to put organic hand soap in the bathrooms and clean the table with vinegar instead of toxic chemicals. It’s why their cafe is 100 percent non-GMO.


Married to her wife of five years, and along with their little rescue dog, Archie, Kris continues to help create a healthier Encinitas. After all, she concluded, “A town like ours should be leading the way with these efforts.”