A glorified cafeteria

Jessica Pauletto


Reno Provisions is located in downtown Reno. It is a one-stop food shop. In the former J.C. Penney's building on the northeast corner of First and Sierra. It is open seven days a week, serving all local and fresh cafeteria style food. We caught up with manager Jessica Pauletto to learn more.

Tell me about Reno Provisions.

So, it’s a dream that Mark Estee has had for a very long time. It’s difficult to describe it in one word. We are a butchery, a bakery, a pasta, bread production kitchen downstairs. Upstairs we are a cafeteria, a demo kitchen, a market area, retail section, wrap-around bar, self-seating area. We are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so we do serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. As far as the cafeteria involved, it is $6 for breakfast, $9 for lunch and dinner. It gets you a tray and you can have as many items as you want in the hot and cold cases. Otherwise we have some a la carte items. We have a beautiful market area where you can grab short ribs, any cut of meat we can do on the spot for you to take home. A lot of people have come in and purchased meat and a baguette and have a little picnic with themselves. So that’s fun. So, yes it’s a glorified cafeteria in one word. We wanted to create something that was vertical integration, which means a self-sustaining restaurant. Well, not a restaurant—we aren’t allowed to call it that, so self-sustaining place. So basically we get all of our local product from in and around Reno or Northern California. We bring it here, we prepare it downstairs, and then it comes upstairs and out to the customers. So that’s kind of what the vertical integration is all about. Also, one of our philosophies is local, fresh and seasonal. Almost everything we have in here is from very close proximity to us. … [C]ome 7 p.m. we are closed to the public and open for private booked events. So people come in here and rent the front room. You can have a small chef’s demonstration in our test kitchen. We do invite local chefs in here to do a cooking demonstration or Mark Estee himself.

What style of food do you offer?

OK, so the style is first, local, fresh and seasonal. Simple. So it is many recipes that you could find at Campo, brought here in a much simpler grab-and-go fashion. We have a lot of artisanal breads, meats and sauces. So one of our philosophies is we want to bring people in, give them a taste of good simple fresh food, and then also teach them how to do it by themselves.

Is everything made in-house?

Yes, all of our pastas are made in-house and all of our breads are made in-house. Another part of this operation is in the future we would like to provide Burger Me, another one of Mark Estee’s restaurants, with all of our own hamburgers, buns and patties.

How long have you been open?

Only two weeks. December 3 was our first official day.

How’s business?

It has been incredible, definitely a learning process. We have very quickly figured out what people like, what they dislike, what we need more of. People love our fresh pastas that we make in-house. People love the opportunity to buy something off our shelves and then go downstairs for a tour and see exactly where it comes from and enjoy every bite that much more because they see the source of it.

Do you have something for all types of eaters?

I think that this is the only place in Reno—and correct me if I’m wrong—where at one table you can happily satisfy a meat lover, a vegetarian, a sweet tooth and someone who just wants a glass of wine all at the same time.