Minden ice cream factory ceases operations
The merciless economy may have claimed its sweetest victim yet.
Tahoe Creamery of Minden has shut down operations. On Friday, empty crates lay stacked in front of the manufacturing suite in the Meridian Business Park. Inside, the company’s famous filler machine, once used to fill large quantities of paper pints, stood defunct, motionless, half covered in wrapping.
Two Tahoe Creamery pickup trucks remained parked outside, but no employees were in sight. A phone call to the head office ended in a recorded message saying, “Tahoe Creamery is no longer producing ice cream due to the stressful economic climate.”
The news came as a shock to fans who have enjoyed the company’s 150 homemade recipes in restaurants and stores all over the region, from the most popular flavor, blueberry, to Batters Up, once the official ice cream of the Reno Aces.
The news was especially shocking given the optimistic report from owner Greg Hoch in February. At the time, Hoch said business had quadrupled in the preceding year and that production had increased from 12,000 pints of ice cream to 26,000 pints a month. The product, company executives maintained, was reaching about 50 chain stores throughout Nevada and California.
“We’ve been blessed,” Hoch said in a previous interview. “We’ve been growing kind of fast. We don’t even have time to sit down and analyze the numbers. They’re coming in fast and furious.”
Hoch grew up on Shady Glen Dairy Farm in Manchester, Conn. In 2000, he moved with his family to Nevada and opened the Sierra Glen restaurant in Carson City. In 2004, after starting Tahoe Creamery in the back room of the restaurant, Hoch closed the Sierra Glen and opened the production facility off Airport Road.
The company first sold 2.5-gallon boxes of ice cream to restaurants and hotels before developing the pint-sized product known today.