Tahoe Central Market brings fresh, quality food and beverage options to Kings Beach | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Central Market brings fresh, quality food and beverage options to Kings Beach

Longtime North Lake Tahoe locals, the Habeger family, have turned what they saw as a need for fresh, organic produce in the area into a family run store serving as a one-stop-shop for a healthy lifestyle.

Tahoe Central Market in Kings Beach offers a wide selection of grocery items, including a gorgeous produce display, cold drinks, Truckee Sourdough baked goods, a hearty wine and beer selection, organic, upscale meat and dairy products, and an array of snacks that won't leave people worrying about their waistlines after indulging.

The market also features a full organic juice bar and deli counter for customizable salads and sandwiches with fresh ingredients.

"We definitely have healthy options here, 90 percent of the produce and items we get from the farms are natural and organic and if they're not organic then the local farm that produced it is still waiting on organic certification," said Bobby Habeger, who is the manager and son of the founders of Tahoe Central Market.

He explained how his parents got started 20 years ago with Habeger Produce. When Bobby was 9 or 10 years old, he recalled his parents started the produce business, they would leave around two or three in the morning to pick up the freshest fruit and vegetables around from farmers markets in the California foothills. After loading the family vehicle with as much produce as possible, the Habegers would deliver it to accounts in North Lake Tahoe.

True to the family's roots, they still do same-day delivery of their produce, keeping it as fresh as possible.

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"It's all same-day delivery, there's no warehouse so nothing sits around, that's something we're really adamant about with the quality of our produce," Habeger said.

Three years ago, the family expanded to open the Tahoe Central Market, their first transaction went through on Dec. 22 in 2013, just in time for Christmas.

The vision of this store is to offer healthy, organic, and natural products that guests can grab in a hurry.

"We have build-your-own sandwiches and salads, juices and smoothies, beach-ready deli items and sides, even canned wines," Habeger said.

In addition to providing fresh, natural, and organic goods, the Habegers also pride themselves on giving smaller farms and natural companies a chance to take their products to the market.

"A lot of this stuff we carry isn't going to be in the big box stores, it's nice to help the local, smaller guys," Habeger said.

"I don't think I've ever said no to a local trying to get their food product out there, we've definitely helped get some of these small local companies their first time product sales, which is really cool."

The market's clientele is filled with people of all ages, looking for a nutritious meal at a good price, it's easy to see why this has become such a hot spot, especially for the lake crowd at lunchtime.

"We come here every time we're in Kings Beach," said Erin Robinson of Marin, who was on vacation.

She added, "It's a great place for fresh lunch options, the deli is great."

Another sandwich aficionado, Steve Larragueta said he's drawn to the market for their fresh, build-your-own sandwich bar, "but I have to say, the sandwiches on the menu are really good, too," he said.

In addition to deli items, the market also offers a wide variety of organic chicken and meats for home cooking. Their selection rivals a small-scale health food store and certainly makes smart eating more accessible in a busy mountain town, something the people of North Lake Tahoe definitely appreciate.

The family oriented business has integrated everyone in the Habeger clan in converting the market to what it is today. Originally an auto parts store, the Habeger's sons helped renovate the building and paint the family's logo on the wall, while other local talent was sourced for help in creating the perfect atmosphere.

Artist Lindsay Jackson hand-painted the mural on the beam that stretches across the ceiling, and features a scene from the farm Habeger's mother grew up on as well as a scene of the lake and water sports as homage to the family's other local business — the family's hard work and dedication is woven into every square inch of the shop.

Whether you're in the market for something special to create for dinner, a healthy breakfast or lunch option or just looking for a convenient store carrying natural and organic goods, Tahoe Central Market has you covered.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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