Truckee Folks

October 24, 2014

Interview, article, and photos by Stacey A.

Honestly, I’m not one of those coffee-drinkers who has a specific allegiance to any one place in Truckee. I’ll go to Coffeebar or Wild Cherries depending on convenience, and Dark Horse is more than worthy to be thrown into that mix.

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters on the corner of West River St. and Brockway Rd.

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters opened mid-August in the building where the old bookstore used to be off West River Street. I was lured in by their five star Yelp review and a recommendation from a friend. I interviewed co-owner Drew Taylor about his passion and business. 

Taylor and his wife and co-owner, Cassidy, met in 2009 while working at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in San Diego.

“Once I tasted their coffee, I was hooked,” Taylor says.

Inspired by Bird Rock owner, Chuck Patton, Taylor devoted a few years to learning everything he could about coffee. Shortly after, he began home-roasting coffee beans from a starter kit off the Internet.

“It was like a rabbit hole for me, trying to learn about this specific plant.”

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Posted in: Truckee Folks, Local Business, Eat + Drink |
September 17, 2014

by Stacey A.

This week I caught up with old-school snowboarding legend, Mike Basich, in his secret, off-grid home about 10 miles outside of Truckee. The experience reminded me what I love about journalism - getting to meet inspirational people who make things happen that others only talk about. 

Basich picked me up in his biodiesel truck and drove us to his mountain getaway, situated over 40 acres of land in the Sierras. I felt like I was entering a secret world as we came into what Basich calls Area 241, named after his Japanese clothing company. Basich designed and built the entire house by hand, beginning in 2005, using wood from trees on the property and metal he welded himself in his Colfax workshop.

View of Basich's cabin, deck, and solar panels. 

Basich has been into DIY projects since he was a kid, and prior to Area 241, he helped remodel a few houses and build some treehouses, but nothing to the scale of this project. With a learn-as-you-go attitude, he started the arduous task of building his tiny home, realizing that if he didn't do it then, at age 33, he might never. 

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Posted in: Truckee Folks |
August 13, 2014
by Stacey A.
Truckee local and owner of Nayture's Empire, Naomi Medlin, started making leather utility belts after being inspired at Burning Man in 2010. Nicknamed "Nay-Nay" by her close friends, the name Nayture soon followed. By 2011, Nayture's Empire was well-received at eight festivals around the country. Medlin specializes in utility belts but also makes leather products such as hair clips, headbands, drink holders, bracelets, rings, and earrings ranging from $15-$35. 

Medlin and crew at Truckee Thursdays

Her utility belts have been tested against the harsh elements of Burning Man for the past three years. "I have customers tell me how being able to carry all the essentials in their Nayture's Empire belt changed their experience at Burning Man."

Medlin stands behind the quality of her leather, saying it only gets softer and molds more to the body over time. With basic belts starting at $80 and going up to $225 for custom

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Posted in: Truckee Folks, Local Business, Style + Design |
August 7, 2014

by Stacey A. 

At Truckee Thursdays, figuring out Stasher clothing company is usually a two-step process. Step one involves walking by and noticing either the neon colors or the unique patterns that range from Hawaiian and Aztec prints to fishing or animal themes. Step two involves actually getting it. 

"Some people get it right when they see it, but you have to show most people," co-owner Elijah Carmichael explains as he points out the pocket on each item, saying the reactions are the best part. 

Stasher's signature double pocket

Stasher specializes in hats but also makes a variety of other apparel, each item with the signature double pocket "stash" for credit card, car key, cash, and ID - basically all your essentials in one spot. 

The company was founded last fall by Carmichael and his girlfriend, Heather Urman, but its roots go back further. Carmichael tells the story of randomly buying a dozen trucker hats from a print shop in Truckee ten years ago. They told him to come back when he had something to put on them, and for ten years he "rocked a blank hat." 

Urman said the couple was sitting on the couch last fall when the "aha" moment finally

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Posted in: Truckee Folks, Local Business |
July 31, 2014

by Stacey A.

Before Truckee Thursdays, Truckee born and raised Joey Brennan, founder of Old Forty Skate Apparel Co., was mostly selling his pieces to friends and family. His skate-themed apparel ranges from $15 to $40 and is making a name for itself at the event both because of its affordability and its sleek design. 

"Not everyone has money for a $70 hoodie. I'd rather sell to kids who are actually into it, not just who can afford it." 

Grennan with friend and apparel photographer Ikaika

Grennan became interested in both building skateboards and silk screening while in college in Santa Barbara in 2011. He lived close to campus and rode his skateboard to class every day. By the end of his first year, he built a press to make his own skateboards out of wood from Truckee. He studied art, mostly with pieces on paper, but was always more interested in clothing design. He moved back to Truckee with a plan to pursue this interest, and the idea of Old Forty was born. 
Grennan immediately got hired at W
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Posted in: Truckee Folks, Local Business, Style + Design |