Smack in the middle of 2020, amid Covid-19, when masks were about to become mandatory in many places and vaccines weren’t yet available for the public, Grocery Outlet opened in Truckee off Donner Pass Road.
Hurdles were vaulted and the grocery store’s reception has “been phenomenal and well received by the community,” said Ryan Parrish, a co-owner of the Truckee location with his wife, Shannon.
Now, just over three years later, the Parrishes are opening another Grocery Outlet location on Nov. 16, this one in Incline Village.
“We’re super excited about this,” Ryan said. “Going back a couple years, we had heard that the owner of Village Market was gonna retire, and we’ve always been interested in having a little bit bigger footprint in North Lake Tahoe than just Truckee … The timing worked out great for us and to have a location that’s already an existing grocery store that had history. We know [Village Market owner Ron Stanger] was successful and very community-focused and that’s exactly what we want to try and come in and carry: The owner of Village Market was very local, and that’s our big thing.”
The Parrishes moved to Truckee to open the town store and have since ingrained themselves in the local community via Grocery Outlet — sponsoring kids’ sports, providing resources during the 2021 Caldor Fire, and more. The pair said they look forward to doing the same in Incline Village.
“We worked for a big grocery chain in Washington state, and it got to the point in our careers where we had so many employees, it was just kind of audits and paperwork instead of doing true grocery, which is what we love, and knowing your customers and that kind of thing,” Shannon said. “[Working for Grocery Outlet] came up for us to be able to get back to the basics in grocery and have a family business. That’s what really excited us about the opportunity.”
The Incline Village location is the Parrishes’ third Grocery Outlet opening. They operated one in San Luis Obispo from 2014 to 2017.
The transition of the building from one grocery store (Village Market) to another makes the process easier for starting up. The main challenge the Parrishes faced in getting the new place up and running was upgrading the former store’s equipment to eco-friendly versions. Delays in delivery of the new hardware pushed back the originally anticipated Nov. 2 opening date.
Being planet-conscious is an ethos for the couple, with both stores committed to producing zero waste — currently applied in Truckee and to be mimicked in Incline.
“We try to donate any [food] that may be going out of date or that we can’t sell,” Shannon said. “We work closely with Sierra Community House, and we have a pig farmer that can take the produce that we can’t sell.” Last year, Grocery Outlet donated 6,500 pounds of excess food to a pig farmer who lives on the outskirts of Truckee. The Parrishes are currently seeking an Incline-based pig farmer to donate unsaleable produce to.
Regarding food selection for the Truckee and Incline locations, Shannon and Ryan are tailoring options to the mountain folk who live here. “We had a store in San Diego, and it was a lot more snacky foods, sugar cereal,” Shannon said. “We knew coming up here, just from the homework we did, it was gonna be very organic and gluten-free and healthy snacks. Which is great because we’re able to provide that at a discounted price.”
Anyone interested in working for the Incline Village Grocery Outlet should email email@example.com. “We’ll respond with any hiring position,” Shannon said. “[People are] welcome to send their interest to us and we can hook ’em up with how to get an application in and an interview.”