Organic food meets mixed Truckee success |

Organic food meets mixed Truckee success

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunSasha Galitzki shops for fresh produce at the New Moon market on Donner Pass Road. The Truckee location will soon expand to include a deli, health-practitioner rooms, and larger produce, meat, wine and beverage departments.

The popularity of organic food continues to grow, and one Truckee market has plans to expand and keep up with the demand.

At the same time, another fresh food outlet is closing its doors.

New Moon Natural Foods, located in the Donner Plaza, plans to increase its floor space by absorbing an adjacent retail shop. Owner Billy Griffin said that will allow him to expand the market’s selection of natural products and services, and advance his philosophy of sustainable living.

“Right now, we’re in the process of getting building requirements and codes, but once we satisfy all the agencies, we hope to begin construction in December,” Griffin said.

When a neighboring business, the Inside Out clothing store, closed at the end of the summer, Griffin seized the opportunity to take over the vacant space.

“It’s not often when you’re renting that the space next to you becomes available, so we jumped on it,” said Griffin. “You’ve got to strike while the iron is hot.”

Coincidentally, after signing the lease, Griffin received word that the Central Market in Downtown Truckee ” his main competitor among local organic food outlets ” was closing.

“It was serendipity that they happened at the same time and just confirmed that we made the right decision” he said.

Although the demand for organic products is high in Truckee, owner Matt Lamb said Central Market on Donner Pass Road in Brickelltown wasn’t bringing in enough money.

“The fixed costs were so high that it was really hard to pay rent, do the payroll, that kind of stuff,” said Lamb. “There was just too much debt.”

Tentative plans for the New Moon addition include an expansion to the produce, meat, wine and beer departments, a take-out deli, three rooms for alternative-health practitioners, and possibly a wine-tasting room.

“Our intention is to be able to withstand any competition that may come to town in the future so that we can co-exist,” Griffin said. “Truckee is growing and we hope to upgrade our facilities so we can grow as the town has.”

New Moon customers in Tahoe City have had access to a natural-food deli since Griffin sublet space to the Uncommon Kitchen ” an organic, healthy dining retailer.

Griffin said he may adapt some of the Uncommon Kitchen’s ideas at the new Truckee deli.

Griffin said his first step will be open a cold deli at Truckee offering items like tea and smoothies, then add soups, salads and daily lunch specials to the menu. Griffin said he hopes the broader selection of organic foods will benefit regional farmers.

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