Do you want to know what’s going on in the eastern Idaho business scene? We have what you need. Here is an overview of this week’s economic news in the valley.
Nostalgic candy shop in Shelley expanded with new amenities, Airbnb
SHELLEY – A nostalgic candy store in Shelley that raised eyebrows last year for displaying political signs out front is in the midst of a massive expansion project.
#Treats offers a variety of nostalgic 1900s treats including Abba-Zabas, Coconut Slices, Whistle Pops (which are similar to Toot Sweets from the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”), Black Cows, Bottlecaps, and Nickel Nips wax bottles. One of the most popular items is the chewing gum cigarette.
RELATED | A political sign outside a sweets business attracts customer support and complaints
In January, the store moved a few blocks from its former location at 202 South State Street to 326 North State Street.
Although the business opened in 2019, owner Stephanie Christensen told EastIdahoNews.com it was the buzz of political signs that really caught people’s attention and led to a massive increase in the number of clients.
“I haven’t had anyone come up to me and say, ‘We found you because of your sign, and I’m not going to shop here.’ People come here to shop,” says Christensen. “Our sales have increased quite a bit.
The move is a direct result of this increase, says Christensen, and several new developments are underway.
Stephanie and her husband, Flint, will soon have an indoor ice cream bar where they will serve Farr’s ice cream to customers.
“We will have a soda bar so you can flavor your own sodas. It’s a bit like Pick Me Up, but you can do it yourself,” explains Stephanie. “And I’d like to add bottled sodas that you won’t find anywhere else.”
They also added space for karaoke and open mic night.
A new feature will combine an escape room with a haunted house.
“It gets progressively more difficult because you move from room to room,” she says. “Very interactive and there will be times when you won’t be able to complete (because the puzzles are so hard).”
This is all a work in progress and should be unveiled at a later date. But that only scratches the surface.
The new store building is part of what used to be a motel, and the duo aren’t letting it get lost. They’ve been working hard over the past few months to convert each of the rooms into the FlintRock Retreat, a series of themed Airbnb suites for tourists.
“What we’re trying to do…is make it something similar to a Black Swan Inn, but for families,” says Flint. “(Each room) will have a regional feel capturing the aesthetics of the region.”
Since many people who visit #Treats are on their way to national parks, some of the suites will have names such as “Teton”, “Yellowstone” or “Moab”. Other rooms are named after animals, such as “Turtle Lodge” and “Fox Hollow.”
In addition to tourists, another large portion of their customers are traveling nurses and interns from the Idaho National Laboratory. They hope to provide an affordable option for people in need of housing due to housing shortages.
Flint says nine of the 15 rooms are now open to guests, but they’re booked through August. The space includes a kitchen and laundry room and a place for guests to exercise and relax.
Hot tubs and other amenities will be added in the future. Flint expects this project to evolve and continue over the next few years.
“While we’re doing renovations, we’re definitely keeping our prices low so we accommodate guests the way they accommodate us,” Flint says. “We take the money we make and put it straight back into (construction).”
RELATED | Local candy store sees major sales boost as second anniversary approaches
A sign with a political opinion is what started it all and Flint and his wife are happy with the growth and success of the business.
But when asked if the signs would make a comeback, Flint says his perspective changed a bit. After an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Congress in the May primary, Flint says “it’s more important to be a teacher than a fighter.”
“I took a little different path on the political stuff,” Flint said. “I like being an antagonist as much as the next one but…I hung up my hat when it came to antagonism (and the sign won’t come back).”
#Treats opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Those wishing to stay at the Airbnb can make a reservation online.
Local shirt store gears up for second annual $5,000,000 race
IDAHO FALLS – Little Mama Shirt Shop is hosting Color Me Crazy, a fun 5K run at Iona Park and Community Center on July 16 at 8:15 a.m.
RELATED | Local mom celebrates motherhood one shirt at a time
Little Mama Shirt Shop seeks to connect women and encourage them to uplift each other and find their voice among their many different roles and responsibilities. That’s why they’ll donate all proceeds from the race and donate it to the local women’s shelter.
There will be several prizes for the top finishers and other runners. There is also a virtual option to run the race and submit your time digitally.
Admission is $35 and will include a race shirt. Click here to join.
Opening new food vendors in the Idaho Falls strip
IDAHO FALLS – New food vendors will open at the Yellowstone Food Village in Idaho Falls.
The Idaho Innovation Center is opening six different restaurants at 2288 North Yellowstone Highway. Among them will be La Carreta Mexican, Tropical Paradise, Yoimi Sushi, Rose Marie’s Gluten Free, U Down Ha-Y-an Hot Plate and Thai Food Plus.
Along with finding a variety of dining options, there are picnic tables and a gazebo to enjoy your food.
Visit the website for more information or call (208) 523-1026.
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