Owner of The Jungle, Matt Polley Shares His Thoughts on His Business and Downtown Reno’s Future

Owner, Matt Polley, standing inside The Jungle.

In the heart of expanding Downtown Reno along the Truckee river lies a hidden gem known as The Jungle. The aroma of delicious coffee, earthy colors and distinct modern artwork are what immediately hits your senses as you walk through the door. Despite having quite a hectic life and schedule, Matt Polley is the owner of this thriving local business. About fourteen and a half years ago, Polley saw the opportunity to purchase the café with a close colleague and he took it. His passion for developing a successful business and creating a relaxing atmosphere is what has turned The Jungle into what it is today.

Established in 1990, The Jungle serves as one of Reno’s finest cafes. The previous owner of the coffee shop decided to leave the business in 2001.

It’s quite clear that Polley is satisfied with his previous accomplishments and the work he does now. He proudly stated that his employees are simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging aspect of his job.

“It can be quite frustrating when [certain] expectations are not met”, he stated. However, the bond that is built between them is an unbreakable one.

“They are doing you a service and it’s an honor to have [my employees] work for me…When you have great employees, it makes [work] a really great experience”, he explained.

In recent years, Downtown Reno has undergone a revitalization of sorts. Despite the economic downturn that the country faced, the area has become increasingly vibrant. With an influx of new businesses and residents swarming the area, Downtown is expanding into something it hasn’t been for a while — a successful region.

Polley has noticed the changes that Downtown Reno has faced. In attempt to stay ahead of the impending competition, The Jungle underwent some of its own renovations within the past year.

“Timing is everything”, he stated. The renovations have proved to be one of the best choices Polley has made for the business. Now with higher sales numbers and more customers stopping in, The Jungle is thriving — despite the ever-growing competition.

In the next five years, Downtown Reno will most likely have double the businesses that it has currently. The Jungle will still be standing strong. Polley was optimistic about the future of the business by stating that he hopes to continue “building and maintain the strong foundation” that he already has.

As a self-described entrepreneur, Polley has owned other local businesses including Jungle Vino, Truckee Books and Java Jungle Coffee Bar. Additionally, he served as a social worker with the Washoe County Department of Social Services for over ten years.

After reflecting on all of his past business ventures, it appears Polley has almost done it all. No matter what the future holds for Downtown Reno or The Jungle, it’s clear that Polley will be ready for whatever can happen.

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