Happy Tiers Cafe prepares to open at Incline Village


INCLINE VILLAGE, Nevada – Andrea and Jason Jurss have long worked in the customer service industry at Incline Village. In 2016 Andrea took her love for baking to the next level and started baking cakes alongside her regular job.

After some encouragement from her father and her husband Jason, Andrea decided to take the plunge with her family and start her own side business making cakes out of her home kitchen. In December 2019, the couple decided to purchase their own storefront property, and Happy Tiers Cafe was born.

Andrea Jurss made this entire cake by hand, then painted it herself. Everything on the leaf is edible.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Jurss

When COVID started, Andrea assumed she would have to return to her full-time customer service job, but with the support of her family and husband, she was able to expand her business from simple specialty cakes to a variety bakery and breakfast products. .

“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 the waiting tables. And he said, ‘No, we’re not giving up,’ Andrea explained.

The duo said COVID ended up helping their business as a whole, which began offering next-day delivery across the basin for items like bread, quiche and baked goods.

“We moved into direct-to-consumer sales and delivery,” Jason said, “so we actually grew during COVID because of that.”

The cafe will feature a premium seating area adjacent to a completely renovated forward control station. Baked goods and breakfasts will be prepared off-site and then delivered to the Incline Village store, located in the Christmas Tree Village, every morning. In addition, the boutique will have a decoration and tasting room dedicated to weddings and special events.

“The challenges were mitigated by productivity,” Jason said. “It wasn’t that difficult because we knew the challenges before we started.”

The couple owned a restaurant in Florida in the past and have now started a debt-free business here in the Basin which is set to open next month. Andrea spent months perfecting her recipes, including changing baking times to meet the demands of cooking at altitude, as well as finding the perfect, super-secret buttercream for their cinnamon rolls.

“The cinnamon rolls saved our bakery,” Jason joked. After testing several recipes, demand for Andrea’s food around the pond began to increase, which was another reason the couple decided to expand into a storefront. Their menu will be stacked with egg bites, pastries and soon, their own blend of coffees.

Andrea is a master in creating realistic cakes, as well as elegant and special cakes. She soon turned to pastries and breakfast food, which is how her cafe was born.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Jurss

The cafe was able to partner with Truckee, CA-based Coffee Bar to begin serving coffee with their homemade pastries. Eventually, they will also start making their own new blends with the Coffee Bar.

The Jurss are excited to open their shop with community members in mind and have created their own VIP club, which will not only allow community members to invest in the business, but also receive special VIP benefits for everyone’s pleasure.

“You can buy a bundle of X amount,” Jason said. “So let’s say someone buys a thousand dollar package, they would receive one hundred dollars in gift cards every month for a year. You will therefore benefit from a 20% increase in the return on your gift cards. We also offer additional benefits depending on the plan. What is interesting is that we will have the opportunity to see these same people every month since they come.

VIP levels offer different benefits at different prices, including a KIDS VIP club. One month after opening, the cafe will end registration for VIP levels, which can be registered at happytiersbakery.com.

The pair have worked tirelessly to bring a full store to Incline Village and will eventually offer day-of-delivery delivery to individuals in Incline Village. Eventually, they will begin expanding their storefronts to South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City, and even Carson City.

“Success is in the details. We have really worked hard to refine every detail, from taste to quality to design to the method with which we deliver. Every time we add an additional service, we have to think about how that service is going to be run in detail,” Jason said.

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 to the Sierra Sun


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