Businesses show off at year's biggest trade show

What better product to bet on than ice cream? Sweet, velvety, homemade ice cream.

That's what Tony Pastini's betting on this year. The owner of Kim Lee's Sushi in Gardnerville and Tony's Chicago Deli and Mike's Wiener World in Minden opened Debbie Lyn's Gourmet Ice Cream in the Minden Village in February, where Cold Stone used to be.

"Everything we make is 100 percent natural," Pastini said Thursday at the 10th annual Business Showcase.

He stood in his booth talking to visitors while serving free ice cream cones. More than 600 attendees had a chance to sample Pastini's handmade ice cream, whether the rich chocolate or the smooth key lime.

"People love it," Pastini said. "They keep coming back for seconds."

When asked if it was going to be a good year for business, Pastini said, "It better be."

"I've got every penny of my life invested," he said.

Approximately 66 businesses and community organizations participated in the showcase, which is organized each year by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. And like every year, the event gave businesses a chance to show the community what they're all about.

Dylan Zigenis, representing Wells Faro Advisors in Minden, said he was having to work extra hard to make money for his clients.

"I think it's a good time to assess, to take a breather and get ready for the next phase," he said. "You have to be really cautious. There's good opportunity if you're willing to work hard."

Zigenis said people are hopeful about the market coming back.

"But it's a smarter optimism," he said. "We all got taught a lot. There's no broker who can say they didn't learn something from this."

Mortgage consultants Natalie Dufty and Jennifer Morrison were at the showcase representing Greater Nevada Credit Union.

"During a year of struggle, this event gives us time to come together and see who we're working with in the community," Morrison said.

Both women said the local housing market seems to be stabilizing. They said with current home prices and low interest rates, now is a good time to buy a home.

"Three years ago, we saw first-time buyers who couldn't afford a house in this area," said Morrison.

"We're working with people now we couldn't have worked with in the past," Dufty added.

Morrison predicted interest rates will go up later in the year.

"If you're going to purchase or refinance, definitely do it now," she said.

Not all the businesses at the showcase were from Carson Valley.

Sherry Walker and Tita Whittaker were helming a booth for Naccarato Chiropractic out of South Lake Tahoe.

"It's our first time at this event," Walker said. "We have so many patients in the area that we wanted to make ourselves accessible. We just don't want to service the area, we want to be part of it. A lot of the people here are farmers and ranchers and the salt of the earth. They work hard for us, so we want to work hard for them."

Walker said people are still concerned how they spend their money.

"But I see a lot of optimism out there," she said. "A lot of people feel like things are better. The American people are good, hard-working people, and if you give them a problem, they'll work their way out of it."

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