Black Bear owners add deli, bakery in T. Falls


A new deli has opened in Thompson Falls. The Black Bear Bakery and Deli is bringing freshly made sandwiches, ice cream and homemade baked goods to the locals of Sanders County. The new deli, which opened in June, is already exceeding expectations.

“The business is already doing incredibly well, it’s jaw dropping,” owner Daniel Moore stated. “It’s been so much more than what we anticipated.” Moore has seen a steady increase in traffic since opening and says the volume of customers is probably about 50-70% locals with 30% of the customers being visitors.

With an expansive menu of homemade items to choose from, the Black Bear Bakery and Deli sets the bar high for quality. “Everything is homemade, all of our breads and pastries are made right here in the bakery,” Moore said. “We don’t buy premade anything, and we are very selective about our ingredients. You can’t get anything like this within 100 miles of Thompson Falls.”

A fairly new addition to the deli is an ice cream dipping cabinet for hand-dipped ice cream, which Moore says was installed only a few weeks ago. “It’s been incredibly popular,” he expressed.

The Moore family moved to Thompson Falls from the Seattle area, as they were reading for a change of scenery. They first opened Black Bear Coffee and Espresso. Then Marlaina Mohr, who co-owns the establishment with her husband Daniel, opened Black Bear Hair, nearly a year ago. “I still work in Washington and travel back and forth; but then COVID-19 hit, and that’s when I really wanted to get involved and give back to the community,” Mohr stated. Mohr’s involvement in the community stems from her belief that everyone is beautiful from the inside out, and gives back to the people here through her craft in the salon.

“When we saw the Black Bear, we knew we wanted to do something with the building,” Mohr said. “We are at a level where we can make an impact in a positive way. It’s a treasure of people here.” Both Daniel and Marlaina’s goal when opening the Black Bear Deli was to provide a family-friendly environment without the expectations of making a profit anytime soon.

“As we started the Black Bear, we bought the building and started doing what we’re doing now, we never intended to make any money,” Moore said. “That was not our goal,” he continued. “Our goal was to create a good, wholesome place for the community, to create jobs and provide some economic stimulus for the area. We really wanted to make a great place for people to hang out.”

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Moore says the business will never sell alcohol or provide a location for gambling. “We are trying to provide a family-friendly alternative to all the other places in town. As a result, folks who are very conservative love the place. It aligns with how they want to live their lives.”

As tourist season hit, Moore says he hasn’t seen a decrease in revenue due to the ongoing pandemic. “COVID-19 clearly has an impact on people’s willingness to go out and about,” Moore stated. “One of our biggest problems we’ve had as a result of COVID-19 is not customer traffic, but our supply lines.” The deli, according to Moore, has had to do some improvising during these hard times, as well as doing without some supplies, simply because they couldn’t get them.

Despite people’s view on the impact of the coronavirus, Moore says they take the threat of the pandemic seriously at all the businesses at the Black Bear. “We do take this seriously. Our people are all required to wear masks, we enforce social distancing and our sanitation protocol is unbelievable.” Every time a customer leaves the building, someone follows them out with a spray bottle and sprays everything down that the customer has touched. “We really aggressively work to be sure that we do not contribute to any possible problems,” Moore continued.

Among providing a family-friendly environment for Thompson Falls and the quality ingredients they provide to their customers, another value both Daniel and Marlaina hold in high regard is their employees. Mohr expressed, “this isn’t about us, it’s about the employees. They make this place what it is, and without them we wouldn’t be us.”

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