The Pandemic’s Wake


2020’s unexpected public health disaster caused a paradigm shift in the region’s economy. While not exhaustive, here’s a list of businesses that couldn’t make it through the pandemic, and (surprise!) new ones born during this time.

Gone today …

Truckee Bagel Company, Truckee: While our region’s only incorporated town is in the business name, the company shut down its Truckee storefront. Reno locations remain in Midtown and Galena.


Philosophy, Truckee: Doors have been shuttered since the restaurant closures, and the business currently has no functioning number and has updated its Google information to reflect it is “permanently closed.”

West Shore Pizza, Tahoma: The restaurant closed early in the pandemic, but community members would gather in lawn chairs to enjoy each others’ company. A GoFundMe for West Shore Pizza remains active.

Hacienda, Tahoe City: As reported in these briefs in our previous issue, the North Shore Mexican restaurant shut its doors unexpectedly this April.

Here tomorrow …

Tahoma Market, Tahoma: Unrelated to Covid, the Tahoma deli (formerly PDQ) that’s been a West Shore institution has been under renovation for two years and is now open once more for business.

One Cheek Squeak Bakery, Sparks: Artisan sourdough from scratch, a new venture by Stephanie Papaioanu based on “baking up yeast farts with love,” according to the bakery’s Facebook page.

Fuddhism, Truckee: The eatery went live in early 2021 with a focus on fresh and global cuisine. Located in Truckee’s historic downtown, Fuddhism offers pick-up options and a weekly meal delivery service.

Donner Creek Brewing, Truckee: A family-friendly microbrew pub serving gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches alongside craft beer, hand seltzers, and ciders. The pub opened in August 2020.

Rock Cellar Records, Truckee: Since reopening the bookshop last year in the historic Truckee Mercantile Building, the team at Word After Word Books has been discussing what to do with the famous basement. There are claims that it was a speakeasy, as well as rumors of a ghost. The space is a classic grotto with rock walls and brick archways. After lots of idea generating, Rock Cellar Records was born. Inspired in part by her son, the musician, and her husband, the record collector, owner Andie Keith said in a press release the space they’ve created is “unique, dramatic, and welcoming.”

~ BL, AH

AT THE NEXUS OF NOURISHMENT and conveniece, Tahoe Food Hub has expanded access to its online ordering menu of sustainably-grown local fruits and veggies to seven days a week. Courtesy photo

Online Farmers Market In Now Open All Week Long


Tahoe Food Hub’s online farmers market, Harvest to Order, is now open for ordering seven days a week. Harvest to Orders is a convenient way to access seasonal, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables from local farms. Pick-up slots are available five days a week at Tahoe Food Hub’s warehouse next to the Truckee Tahoe Airport and across the street from the new Raley’s.

To register, sign up at to receive a weekly newsletter outlining what is fresh and in season that week from local farms. Orders generate a pick list for the farmers who harvest fresh produce. Tahoe Food Hub picks up the same day and prepares orders for customers to pick up.

~ Tahoe Food Hub press release

Aegis Insurance Enters Alliance with InterWest


In a letter to existing clients on May 20, Aegis Insurance Markets President Tony Commendatore announced the company has entered “a strategic alliance with InterWest Insurance Services LLC.”

“This alignment of the high-level knowledge and professionalism of the Aegis team, with the support and resources InterWest has committed, will allow us to provide our clients with tools that support the lines of business that we already offer, as well as a new suite of product expertise in health benefits and surety bonds,” the letter stated in part.

The two organizations share a community focus and complement each other, according to Commendatore. InterWest has demonstrated commitment to reinvesting in its staff and focusing on diversified products and services, and utilized innovative technology that consistently places the company among top-performing insurance and consulting brokerages in the country.

~ Aegis client letter

County Supervisors Allocate $250,000 from ARPA for Small Businesses


Nevada County’s board of supervisors allocated $250,000 in American Rescue Plan Act monies to fund a fifth round of grants by the Nevada County Relief Fund, supporting small businesses recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. This allocation is part of the nearly $6 million the supervisors set aside for community and economic resiliency.

Eligible for-profit businesses countywide may apply for micro-grants up to $5,000 as of June 2, with applications due June 25. The Sierra Business Council will manage the grant application process with oversight provided by the Relief Fund’s Community Advisory Council. SBC will provide awardees with one-on-one business counseling through its Small Business Development Center.

~ Nevada County Relief Fund press release

Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

TDPUD Board Chooses General Manager


Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s board announced May 13 the hiring of Brian Wright as the new general manager. Wright is the current interim general manager and water utility director, selected from a large pool of candidates.

“The board was determined to find the best leader and fit for our dynamic organization and Brian emerged as the obvious choice,” said Christa Finn, TDPUD board president. “He has worked tirelessly, has shown steadfast leadership to keep the district moving forward, and continues to be kind, creative, and courageous.”

Wright has been with TDPUD for over eight years, excelling in the positions of water utility director, assistant general manager, and interim general manager. All in all, Wright has almost three decades of experience working with both public and private utilities.

~ TDPUD press release

ALL SMILES: David Maher has been announced as the new head of school for the Tahoe Expedition Academy. He brings 30-plus years of experience as a teacher, academic mentor, and administrator at both public and independent schools. Courtesy photo

Tahoe Expedition Academy Hires New Head of School


The Tahoe Expedition Academy has hired David Maher as its new head of school. Maher comes to TEA by way of Colorado, South Korea, and Southern California. With more than 30 years as a teacher, academic mentor, and administrator in both public and independent schools, Maher will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of TEA.

Maher’s immediate mandate is to continue to support the students, faculty, and staff at TEA. Long term, his job will be to tell the story of TEA, share its successes, and build on the foundation that the TEA community has spent the past decade creating. Maher is scheduled to take over as head of school on July 6.

~ TEA press release

PR Director Departs from Resort


Liesl Hepburn departed from her role as public relations director at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows on May 8. In an email, she wrote, “My husband has accepted a promotion with his company and we are relocating our little family to the mountains in Colorado. I will be continuing to assist with the Squaw Alpine base-to-base gondola project.”

Those with media-related questions should contact Alex Spychalsky at

~ Hepburn email

APPLE A DAY: Annamieka Conway, MD, is now providing ophthalmology care out of the Incline Village Community Hospital. Courtesy photo

Tahoe Forest Health System Welcomes Ophthalmologist


Tahoe Forest Health System is pleased to announce that Annamieka Conway, MD, has joined its team at the Incline Village Community Hospital.

Conway specializes in providing comprehensive eye and vision care. She is medically and surgically trained to diagnose and treat the full range of disorders affecting the eye and surrounding tissues. Conway attended medical school at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, and completed her ophthalmology residency at UC Davis Eye Center. She is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Her office is located at the IVCH Lakeside Clinic at 889 Alder Ave., Ste. 303 in Incline Village. New patients are now being accepted. For appointments, please call (530) 582-6205.

~ TFHS press release

New Administrator of Arts Alliance


The Truckee Arts Alliance, a fiscally sponsored project of Nevada County Arts Council, announced that Mark Salinas has been named its new administrator. Salinas brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in public, private, and nonprofit sectors in urban and rural communities.

Mark has served the creative economy in leadership roles in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and as a creative and managerial contributor to the museum, gallery, fashion, film, and theater industries for over 25 years. His endeavors in equity have been recognized on state and national levels, and in 2019 the Nevada Humanities, a state council affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities, honored his cross-sector inclusion efforts with its Rising Star Award.

~ Nevada County Arts Council press release


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