By Andy Barr
Truckee Craft Ventures (TCV) began in 2006 in Truckee with 5050 Brewing. Pre-pandemic, we distributed beer and spirits in 17 countries and 26 states, operated two restaurants and had three more in the works. Today, we run a donation-based hand sanitizer production and distribution center and a takeout hub while we flip our entire business model on its head and become an e-commerce platform.
Fourteen in, while we are adapting how to move forward, our top priority has not changed: We want to grow our business while supporting our local community.
While we can’t predict tomorrow’s challenges, we know the first step toward recovery is survival.
We have been laser-focused on survival since early March to build our business back better than before. The reality is that we have zero in-restaurant dining and very little distribution right now. Across our businesses, our revenue is down 80%.
Survival means adapting. It means we have to learn to operate what is really a new business for us. Survival also means we can’t forget our values or our community. We do what we can to support first responders, senior centers, and low-income residents with supplies. Survival means we act with gratitude every day, learning, growing, and doing our best to stay positive in tremendously challenging times.
Business leaders around the world have spoken about the characteristics of companies that will survive. We can’t wait for restaurants to be turned back on, we have to build businesses that sustain in the world today, knowing that this world changes by the minute. The honest truth is that we don’t know — nobody knows — when and how people will come back to restaurants, to their favorite bars or beverage stores, to celebrate moments with friends and loved ones, raising a glass on a special night.
What we do know is that as our world reemerges, things will be different and so we’re preparing and making plans for that as best we can, rethinking customer experiences and tastes and reimagining our future.
Our Future, Accelerated.
Society will turn back on, California will reopen, and things will get back to normal, but normal may very well be different. How does the post-COVID world look and feel?
We are reevaluating all elements of our business at this point including beer and spirits products, distribution models and channels, menus, processes, personal interactions, physical layout, and more. Now is a time not to throw away everything we’ve learned in the past 14 years but, to be willing to question how it fits in our world going forward.
This is not what we had planned. But this is the world in front of us. We built TCV because we loved the moments that came along with sharing a beer or meal, and we loved Truckee. None of that has changed. Those moments will come back, and we are committed to being a part of them with our businesses, our team, and our community.
We don’t have the answers, but will keep asking tough questions, taking a hard look at how to rebuild our home in Truckee and staying connected with our extended family in the community and around the world. We’re rethinking this and need your input. Give your local businesses feedback on how we can do better and how we can provide more support to our community members, now and for the future. Please reach out to me directly at email@example.com. Thank you.
~ Andy Barr is CEO and co-founder of Truckee Craft Ventures. Prior to entering the food and beverage industry in 2012, he spent 10 years at Hewlett Packard as a master engineer. Andy is a member of the Truckee Rotary Club, a board member on other local businesses in Truckee, and a volunteer for many local nonprofit organizations. His passions include family, ultimate, soccer, skiing, trail running, continuing personal education, and always looking for a better way to do something.