The Authenticity of Tahoe Trail Bar’s New Website

by Dan Keenan



By: Dan Keenan, Tahoe Trail Bar website designer, owner of Hatchback Creative

Dan Keenan Tahoe Trail Bar Ambassador Website Developer

Dan Keenan, owner of Hatchback Creative and Tahoe Trail Bar Ambassador

My goal with any website project is to develop a place to celebrate a company or organization using visual storytelling. Building the website for Tahoe Trail Bar was one of those dream gigs because the story is as authentic and real as the ingredients in these awesome bars.

With the fresh new logo and packaging and two amazing new flavors to showcase, we were excited to share the new Tahoe Trail Bar with the world, while giving a nod to the deep roots of this company, which started in the kitchen of a coffee shop in South Lake Tahoe. Even the original recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate is unchanged to this day. When I moved to Lake Tahoe 13 years ago, I remember the original bar and the cult following it had. I knew Wes and was stoked to hear he was ready to take it to the next level.

The story of the Tahoe Trail Bar is the story of Wes and his journey growing the business, breaking the suspension on his Subaru making deliveries in the early days, and slinging us new bars to try on the chairlift. Knowing what I know about Wes, the fuel for his journey is us. His passion is creating a product the outdoor community wants and appreciates. We all know those times – we might be deep in the woods with a broken bike or marooned in an airport when we start feeling a little “hangry.” In those times when yet another (insert name of popular energy bar here) can’t and won’t do, Tahoe Trail Bar simply does it. It’s minimally processed and I can taste the ingredients in the food I’m eating. I know, this sounds like a simple and obvious concept, but it’s a rare occurrence from the energy bar aisle.

When I was approached to build the website, those values were immediately present. To that end, this website is 100% a product of the Trail Bar staff and ambassadors. All photos used appear courtesy of Tahoe Trail Bar ambassadors Bligh Gillies and Rachid Dahnoun. All creative content is written and supplied by ambassadors. Even the web design and development itself was coded by yours truly, a Tahoe Trail Bar ambassador and outdoor enthusiast. In short, no big city marketing company was hired to wrap Tahoe Trail Bar up in a nice little package with a bow on it. We know who we are, where we come from and what speaks to the people these bars are for. No bullshit. Just good fuel.

When we started this website project, Kristin, Wes, and I spent hours on the phone talking about everything except the bar. We talked about the things we love to do when the bar is in our backpacks and how these experiences in the outdoors resonate with our audience. We imagined the website being something like a campfire by bringing in user-generated content and dispatches from the ambassadors. While keeping it all about the bars, we also sought to celebrate the outdoor lifestyle and culture. Tahoe Trail Bars have been present for way too many amazing adventures not to share.

There are certain unspoken truths in the outdoor community. Much of it can be boiled down to appreciation. Appreciation for the Earth. Appreciation for good friends to share adventures with. Appreciation to survive another epic trip. Appreciation that you get to do it all again tomorrow.

Tahoe Trail Bar is a grateful company as well, which is shown with reciprocation. Trail Bar donates to worthy local trails organizations in the Tahoe area and is a part of Patagonia’s 1% For the Planet campaign. It’s a pleasure working with such a dynamic and honest company. We hope you like the new website and it inspires you to chuck this screen and go play outside.

Dan Keenan is owner of Hatchback Creative, a web development and graphic design company based in Lake Tahoe.