One Year Anniversary and Update from Truckee Philosophy
Last fall, we had the pleasure of speaking with Hayden Pruitt, owner of Truckee Philosophy. At the time, it was downtown Truckee’s newest addition, serving up an exciting mix of food, drinks, and music that represented the great things Truckee has to offer. But like its name implies, Philosophy is more than just a spot to stop at when you need your thirst or hunger quenched; Philosophy has always strived to be a greater part of the community. In our November, 2018 interview with Pruitt, he says: “Community is [Philosophy’s] number one focus [and] we try to offer a social experience centered on it.”
Now, Philosophy is celebrating their one year anniversary and we wanted to check back in with them. Read this interview from Taylor Lorz to hear of Pruitt’s exciting plans for the restaurant and his experience owning a business in Truckee.
Can you tell us a little about your life before Philosophy and what inspired you to open shop here in Truckee?
I actually worked in the tech sector prior to Philosophy and my life in Truckee. I was fortunate enough to run a national staffing and consulting business with multiple locations across the US. That also meant I lived in a lot of different places, but I spent the majority of my time in San Francisco. I came to Truckee to slow things down a bit and devised Philosophy because I wanted to build something tangible; to create a physical space that could bring a community together.
Philosophy has been officially open for 1 year! Can you share your successes and challenges as new business owner in Truckee?
Woo hoo! A year is a definite milestone and one that’s been both rewarding and challenging. I’d say we’ve been very successful in slowly integrating ourselves into the community, as well as highlighting our philanthropic roots with events like “Make a Difference Monday.” Of course, we’ve faced a number of challenges as well. I’d venture to say the biggest is creating the right narrative around what we’re all about. When we first opened, for example, we did so with a pretty limited menu. We’ve since expanded upon that and our kitchen team has done an incredible job at creating an eclectic, delicious, and affordable menu. We’re excited to show people the kind of quality dishes they’re craving in Truckee.
Describe the menu at Philosophy? What are a couple of favorite items?
I think ‘eclectic’ is the best word to describe the menu. We’re dabbling in everything from Cajun Spiced Gumbo (currently on the menu) to Moroccan Lamb Dish and Bahn Mi Sliders (coming soon!). We’re also narrow in the size of our menu, which allows us to execute these dishes extremely well. Pair that with excellent sourcing practices and it makes for a quality difference you can taste.
Can you tell us a little bit about your staff?
Our staff consists of Libby, Tracy, Andrea, and Taylor. They all bring a unique and exciting perspective to the restaurant that we value so much.
Libby has worn many hats in our first year of business and has finally settled into our kitchen management role. Her passion and skillset are best utilized in the creation and execution of our menu. She has a knack for execute an eclectic menu with consistent, quality results and is 100% the reason our food is as incredible.
Tracy manages much of our front of house operations because of her infectious energy and positivity. She’s also about to be a new Mom and we’re so thrilled for her to take that step in life and, hopefully, come back to us soon!
Much like Libby, Andrea is our rock in the kitchen. I think both Libby and I would have been lost in the first year without the combination of these two. Her skill in the kitchen mixed with her fun-loving, yet hard working ethics makes her an incredible addition to our team.
Taylor is a new addition to the Philosophy squad who tackles our social media, marketing, and event planning side of the business. Her impact – already in the short term – has been incredible because the enthusiasm and optimism she hold regardless of challenging situations (like this past winter!). If there were a poster child for optimism and a can-do attitude, it’s pretty much her. We’re thrilled she’s a part of Philosophy.
It appears as if Philosophy was not intended to be just a restaurant—what’s your ‘vision’ for Philosophy over the next year?
True. We want to be so much more than a dining experience. This isn’t to say we don’t value our restaurant atmosphere, it’s just to say that we also designed the space to do so much more. At our core, we want to establish ourselves as a pillar in this community with a focus on philanthropy, community, and sustainability.
What new and exciting things do you have coming up for this summer?
So much! Everything from fresh oysters and sparkling wine every Thursday to our new brunch offering on the weekends, which we intend to pair with delicious morning cocktails and live music. And keep an eye out for our pivot to a late night music venue by July. Our aim is to create the best late night music scene in Truckee.
What do you most want guests who visit Philosophy to know?
We’re about creating a unique experience. The space may feel ‘classy’ but we also want to provide a casual, down-to-earth experience. We didn’t design the space or our menu for a specific type of individual, but rather for everyone to enjoy.
What is your favorite quote?
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose?
Flying! 100%. With everyone’s nose in a cell phone these days, it’s pretty easy to be invisible if you want to be. But flying?? I mean, c’mon!!
What songs best describes your work ethic?
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones. Anyone who’s worked with me can attest to this. It’s a blessing and a curse.
What was your best McGuyver moment?
I’m currently building out a custom shelving system for my office at home. It’s a lot of galvanized piping, wood, and measurements but it’s coming together nicely. Any time I build something purely from imagination, I feel a bit like McGuyver.
Is a hot dog a sandwich? And Why?
No, it is not. Emphatically no. Any good baseball fan knows that a hotdog is in a category all to its own.