Happy Tiers Cafe prepares to open in Incline Village
Special to the Sierra Sun
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Andrea and Jason Jurss have worked in the customer service industry in Incline Village for a long time. In 2016, Andrea took her love for baking cakes to the next level and began making cakes on the side of her regular work.
After some encouragement from her father and husband Jason, Andrea decided to take the leap with her family and start her own side business of making cakes from her kitchen at home. In December of 2019, the pair decided to purchase their own storefront property, and Happy Tiers Cafe was born.
When COVID began, Andrea assumed she would have to go back to working her full time customer service job, but with the support of her family and husband, she was able to expand her business from just specialty cakes to a variety of bakery and breakfast foods.
“When COVID started, I said, ‘I’m just going to have to go back to get a job… I’m just going to go back to waiting tables.’ And he said, ‘No, we’re not giving up on this,’” explained Andrea.
The duo said COVID ended up helping their business overall, which started offering next day delivery around the entire basin for items like bread, quiche, and baked goods.
“We pivoted to direct to consumer sales and delivery,” said Jason, “so we were actually grew during COVID because of that.”
The cafe will feature a high-end seating area near an entirely newly renovated front ordering station. The baked goods and breakfasts food will be prepared off site and then delivered to the Incline Village store, located in the Christmas Tree Village, every morning. Additionally, the shop will have a dedicated decorating and tasting room for weddings and special events.
“The challenges have been mitigated by productivity,” said Jason. “It hasn’t been that challenging because we knew of the challenges prior to beginning.”
The pair have owned a restaurant in Florida in the past and have now created a debt-free business here in the basin that is set to open next month. Andrea has spent months perfecting her recipes, including changing cooking times to meet the requirements of cooking at altitude, along with finding the perfect, super-secret buttercream for their cinnamon rolls.
“Cinnamon rolls saved our bakery,” joked Jason. After testing multiple recipes, the demand for Andrea’s food around the basin began to grow, which was another reason the pair decided to expand into a store front. Their menu will be stacked with egg bites, pastries, and soon, their own blend of coffees.
The cafe was able to partner up with Coffee Bar, based in Truckee, Calif., in order to start serving coffee with their homemade pastries. Eventually, they will begin to brew their own new blends with the Coffee Bar as well.
The Jurss’ are excited to open their shop with the community members in mind, and have created their own VIP Club, which will not only allow people in the community to invest in the business, but receive special, VIP perks for everyone to enjoy.
“You can buy a package that is X amount,” said Jason. “So let’s say someone were to buy a thousand dollar package, they would get a hundred dollars in gift cards every month for a year. So you’re going to get a 20% return increase on your gift cards. We also offer additional benefits based on the package. The interesting thing is that we will get to see these same people every month since they will be coming in.”
The VIP tiers offer different benefits at different prices, including a KIDS VIP club. One month into opening, the cafe will end enrollment for the VIP Tiers, which can be signed up for at happytiersbakery.com.
The pair has been working tirelessly to bring a completed store to Incline Village, and will eventually offer day-of delivery to the individuals of Incline Village. Eventually, they will begin to expand storefronts to South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City, and even Carson City.
“Success is in the details. We’ve really worked hard to refine every detail, from the taste to the quality to the design to the method with which we deliver. Whenever we add an additional service, we have to think about how that service is going to be executed in the details,” said Jason.
To learn more about Happy Tiers Bakery and Cafe, visit happytiersbakery.com.
Miranda Jacobson is a staff writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun
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