Tropic Hut Cafe's First Year

A Ton Of Work Went Into This Place!

One of our regular customers had a child attending High Desert Montesori School, which is a few blocks from the cafe location. She (the mom) thought our cafe would enjoy a boost to our business by providing lunches to the school. Seemed a good idea at the time. Here is Jarvis in his yacht captain's get-up pitching his proposal to the Montesori School.

May 29, 2014 - just two months after aquiring cafe
  So confident, such a salesman! Somebody shoot me! This turned out to be terrible for the cafe. Montessori Schools are cesspools of political correctness.
Back at the cafe: one of our better ideas was adding a "Fixin's Bar" — customers could add their own toppings to sandwiches and salads.

June 2, 2014
  It may have been a extra work to set up and keep clean, but the "Fixin's Bar" was a hit with customers.
This was also where folks dressed up their tacos on "Taco Tuesdays."  
  This was our hand-written menu board for the first few weeks, just as the previous owners had done it. We improved on this big time with beautiful printed photos and descriptions of our menu.

June 4, 2014
Candice and Nick like the new green staff shirts Jarvis got for the crew.

June 11, 2014
  Candice and Nick are stumped when Jarvis askes if either of them knows the origin of espresso — both the drink and the term for the drink. Jarvis loves to know stuff like that.
We added lasagna to the menu! Jarvis is very pleased with how well it came out on the first try.

June 11, 2014
  Mmmmmm, who doesn't love hot, cheesy lasagna?
Nick proudly displays one of our most popular items — Chicken Caesar Salad.  
  Jarvis found current US flags and remakes of the original "Betsy Ross" flag to hang up during the week of July 4th. And don't ya just love the hat?

July 3, 2014

On July 3rd, the same day we took the goofy picture of Jarvis above, we also shot a video tour of the cafe to show all the changes and improvements we made in our first ninety days.

Nick's specialty was club sandwiches. He became so good at making them, Jarvis nick-named him "King Of Clubs."  
  Know what you do a LOT of at a place that serves deli sandwiches? Slice deli meats!
Candice adds just the right touch of seasoning to a turkey wrap.  

At the top of the page are photos of my pitch to provide lunches for the kids at High Desert Montessori School. School started on August 25, 2014. Here's video of the great work we did to feed the little darlings at HDMS.

  A busy Friday afternoon at Tropic Hut.

December 12, 2014
Being in an office building, Tropic Hut Cafe was closed over weekends. So there was plenty of clean-up to do on Fridays before closing.  
  Jarvis loved to make a big to-do over special occasions and holidays. Merry Christmas from Tropic Hut!

December 16, 2014
Even our mascot macaw, Tiberius, got his own stocking for Christmas.

(Were you fooled, even just for a moment? No, he's not real.)
  And there are the stockings for each member of the Tropic Hut staff.

December 18, 2014
The festive Tropic Hut dining room one week before Christmas.  
  The card rack up front was added in October and caught on immediately.

Just for fun, here's a video of Dawn, the Avanti Greeting Card rep, installing the card rack. They put a lot of thought into their card racks' designs and layouts. I was thoroughlly impressed.

Video: Dawns Sets Up Avanti Card Rack
This is what customers see when they first walk in to Tropic Hut Cafe.  
  Jarvis discovered Avanti Greeting Cards at a UPS Store, and he just had to have them in Tropic Hut!
Those beverage coolers were sloppy messes when we took over the cafe. They looked like home refrigerators. Jarvis brought in a beverage display specialist from Coca-Cola to help make them look this good.  
  Why Marilyn Monroe? They're beach towels, and our theme is tropical, get it? Those Marilyn Monroe beach towels are collector's items from the 1960s. And they're much nicer decorations than the bare walls of the cafe when we took it over.
The cafe's office for the first few months we had it.

December 29, 2014
  It's the week of Christmas. Montessori School is on break, so we're not preparing and delivering 80-100 school lunches every day. Nice to be able to relax!

December 29, 2014
This desk will be a big improvement to the cafe's office.

January 19, 2015
  Kilroy was here. (Wonder if any millennials get that one.) Jarvis found this nice desk and hutch on Craigslist. Won't be able to get a full picture of it once it's in the ofice, so here's what it looks like.
At last! Jarvis has drawers! So nice to have places to put things.  
  Yeah! Here's an office that can keep things organized!
As we did with all holicays and special occasions, Tropic Hut went all out for Reno Rodeo Week. Jarvis made arrangements with a local saddle and tack store to provide us ranch themed items, such as the saddle in this photo. In exchange, we posted ads for their store in the cafe.

June 16, 2015.
  Very few people in Reno are legitimate cowboys or ranchers, but that doesn't stop the posers from going nuts over Rodeo Week. Tropic Hut played along by offering special menu items.

A particular favorite was our "San Antonio Style" breakfast burrito, which we created specifically for rodeo week. It included green chile and strips of fajita beef. It was so popular, we kept in on the menu permanently!

After the scumbags of state government pulled my cafe out from under me — to help the handicapped — I had no choice but to sell my equipment. Nick Winslow assisted by performing this most excellent demo of the cappuccino machine.