Jenny Goldsmith
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

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March 22, 2012
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Meet Your Merchant: New business venture gives local family a new beginning

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Garry DiMaggio spent the last 15 years traveling the world overseeing production of gas stations and convenience stores from Amsterdam to Venezuela, but has never felt more at home than he does in Incline Village.

Nearly 18 months ago, DiMaggio and his wife relocated to Incline with their four small children in search of seasons, sunshine and stability. DiMaggio was ready to change careers in order to spend more time with his growing family, so when the space formerly occupied by Grog N’ Grist became available, he jumped on the opportunity to take it over.

“We wanted to create something that we could do together, and also could provide for the kids so when they grow up, they’ll have something that belongs to them too,” DiMaggio said.

With DiMaggio’s experience in convenience store operations combined with his wife’s knowledge of restaurants and food, they decided to incorporate their respective trades into one business — a convenience store meets deli meets sit-down Italian restaurant.

DiMaggio’s father is also contributing a lifetime’s worth of restaurant management and entertainment experience as co-owner of the establishment, located off Tahoe Boulevard, below the Village Ski Loft.

“We’re going to devote most of our time here as a family and hopefully we’ll be able to develop a rapport with the locals, and I think that in itself will make this business successful,” DiMaggio said.

Convenience store operations are under way as the DiMaggios slowly integrate new products and stock, and the deli opened March 3 with great success. The restaurant side of the business is a-work-in-progress as the DiMaggios test ingredients and experiment with high-altitude recipes, but the family-run establishment plans to operate in full swing by the end of April.

When the Grog N’ Grist closed after 30 years of operation, DiMaggio said he recognized the success of its business model, and aside from some building retrofits, he and his family decided not to sway too drastically from the original concept.

“People have been coming here for over 30 years for lunch and deli food, so we figured why not continue that if that’s what the community wants,” DiMaggio said. “We wanted to use an avenue that’s already been working for Incline, but incorporate what we know, which is a convenience store and restaurant.”

In only a few weeks of operation, the DiMaggio’s have recognized the power of word of mouth in a small town like Incline Village, and they’re hoping their family-oriented business will strike the right chord among the close-knit community.

“We’re not trying to compete with anyone else in town, we’re just here to show that DiMaggio’s has our own, unique way of doing things and we’ll leave it up to the customers to decide what they like,” DiMaggio said.

If nothing else, Valerie DiMaggio said the stability and quality family time the new business brings is worth more than its weight in deli sandwiches. The family compound is located one block from the store, and the kids enjoy helping their parents out after school or on weekends.

“It’s great having Garry around and we all get to be together, which is bringing us closer as a family,” Valerie said. “Opening this business has definitely been a positive change for our family.”

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 22, 2012 12:01PM Published Mar 22, 2012 11:49AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.