Meet Your Merchant: Tahoe delivery business opens new storefront
Special to the Bonanza
What: To Go Fork
Location: 930 Tahoe Blvd suite 701B
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Trent Jones, the local expert on delivering take-out, opened his own storefront in Incline Village last week.
To Go Fork is located in the east side of the Raley’s Center and serves coffee, smoothies, yogurt and fresh-made juice.
In addition to the physical location, Jones is still delivering restaurant favorites to locals’ doorsteps.
Previously known as Tahoe Deliver and TahoeDine.com, To Go Fork is the new name for the delivery business Jones hopes to expand to other markets like Reno and Truckee.
“This concept has gone very well in Incline Village and North Shore,” he said. “I plan to have multiple drivers.”
Jones believes delivery is the future and has watched businesses in bigger cities grow tremendously from delivery service.
“There’s a comfort level in having things brought to people,” he said.
The delivery man has learned a lot about local restaurants as well, he said. The classic molé at Lupita’s, the good happy hour at Rookie’s, the food at Austin’s — Jones has gotten to know the restaurant owners as well as the dishes.
The future, Jones is finding, is moving toward juice. Customers who trickle in To Go Fork throughout the day order a fresh juice from the bar.
Repeat customers come back to try a different fruit and vegetable concoction.
“What I love is that if you’re running crazy all day, you can come here for something green,” said Kellye Howell, a friend of Jones’s.
Howell works as an organizer, ski instructor and facilitates kids’ camps. She calls herself a “healthy girl” who likes to hike, kayak and ski.
“If you can’t sit down in a restaurant, you can come get juice,” she said.
Each of the juices is written on large chalkboards in the shop, some with combinations of ginger, apple, beet and lemon, and some with pear and kale.
The juices’ names — ranging from Apple Hill, Deacon’s Therapy and Road to Hana — pique customers’ interest, Jones said.
“The menu is the history of where I came from and what I’ve come across,” he said.
Deacon’s Therapy is named for his grandfather, who owned a pear ranch on Apple Hill in Camino, Calif.
Jones also honors the years he spent living in Maui, and with a sip of the healthy juice, dreams of one day expanding To Go Fork to Hawaii.
“The Road to Hana is a road in Maui that is a treacherous road,” he said. “A lot like a business is treacherous.”
So far, Jones has seen success, both with delivery and with To Go Fork’s storefront. This summer, To Go Fork will offer late-night bites like flatbread pizzas and hopes to offer 24-hour delivery service for late-night eaters.
And to show his pride for the San Francisco Giants, Jones will offer 25 percent off his Orange Friday juice on Giants game days.
Through opening To Go Fork, Jones said he’s become just as big of a fan of juicing as he is of the Giants.
“I’ll come in and have a juice and I can feel it in five minutes,” he said. “I’ve learned more about building the store and juices from the customers than anything.”
Jones said customers have responded with overwhelming positivity to To Go Fork: “Juicing has become all the rage, and more people are flocking to the opportunity of having juice and feeling clean.”
Last week, a young blonde man came into To Go Fork for a juice. He ordered an Orange Friday, and Jones poured him a tall glass.
It wasn’t until the young man introduced himself that Jones realized he was Eric Ethans, the founder of Suja, an organic juice company picked up by Whole Foods and recently reported by Forbes as the country’s fastest growing beverage company.
“Do you know who that is?” Jones shouted with boyish excitement after the young man left. “That’s the founder of Suja and he was in my store!”
Jenny Luna is a freelance reporter for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza newspaper. She can be reached at email@example.com.