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Biz Buzz: New Indian restaurant opening in downtown Idaho Falls next week

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Cardamom Restaurant at 501 Park Ave. in Idaho Falls | Rett Nelson,

Do you want to know what’s happening on the east Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered.

Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.



Popular Indian restaurant opening first Idaho location in downtown IF

Getting the interior ready for opening day | Rett Nelson,

IDAHO FALLS – You can always dream, but you have to work to make a dream come true.

Sheba Bakshi-Sofi and her husband, Javed Sofi, are the owners of the new Cardamom Restaurant in downtown Idaho Falls, which Bakshi-Sofi says has been years in the making.

“This is something we’ve talked about since day one,” Bakshi-Sofi tells “When we spend time together, it’s always cooking.”

During family gatherings, Bakshi-Sofi and her husband would always throw out suggestions for the name of the restaurant they dreamed of owning one day.

Bakshi-Sofi grew up in Kashmir, India. Cardamom is an Indian spice and one of the most fragrant spices she uses in her cooking. The decision to open Cardamom stems partly from that and from a Thanksgiving dinner she had with her family years ago.

“We were having cinnamon and cardamom tea. You boil it in water and the fragrance is so awesome. We were drinking it and I said, ‘Cardamom.’ I didn’t tell anyone about this again, but it stayed in the back of my mind until I decided to step down from Melaleuca in February,” says Bakshi-Sofi.

At the age of 60, Bakshi-Sofi quit her secure corporate job as vice president of international marketing at Melaleuca in March to enter the risky world of entrepreneurship and try her hand as restauranteur.

“I called the rest of the family to tell them we were really going to do this. I’ve been the corporate kid my entire career so everyone was surprised. My brother-in-law asked me what I was calling (the restaurant). When I said ‘Cardamom,’ he just laughed. He said, ‘You remember that Thanksgiving dinner, don’t you?’ I said, ‘Yep.'”

The Sofis have been busy all summer renovating the old Pachangas building at 501 Park Ave. in Idaho Falls.

RELATED | New restaurant moving in to old Pachanga’s building in downtown Idaho Falls

Cardamom will offer modern and traditional dishes from northern India. Each dish is made from scratch and includes lamb, chicken, vegetables and rice.

“In the end, food is all about flavor. Value and consistency is important,” Bakshi-Sofi says.

Another restaurant in town, Tandoori Oven, also offers Indian dishes, but Bakshi-Sofi says she is not worried.

“If you look at a map of India, geographically the food is different. Most Indian restaurants in the U.S. have a mixture of everything (in India). There are so many other dishes people have never tried before. We wanted to be different (by focusing on dishes specific to northern India) and have our own unique taste,” she said.

Though there are Cardamom restaurants in other states. This one is separate from those and will be the first one with the name in Idaho.

Cardamom opens Monday, August 20. It will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The owners are hoping to have an official grand opening Sept. 7.

“It’s been an exciting, scary adventure,” Bakshi-Sofi says. “It’s not an easy thing to open something we’ve never done. But I’ve been in the business world long enough to know the risk we’re taking. We want to make sure we do it right.”


Local business recognized as one of the fastest growing in America

IDAHO FALLS – Stukent Inc. was named one of the “fastest-growing private companies in America” on Wednesday, August 15 with the reveal of the yearly Inc. 5000 list. The list recognizes the industry innovators who are rapidly growing within their spaces. This year, Stukent ranked number 268 overall—while ranking fifth in the “Education” category and fourth in the state of Idaho.

RELATED | Outdated textbooks were a problem for him, so he did something about it

Software company opening new office in Rexburg

REXBURG – Leading ethics and compliance software and services company NAVEX Global announced it will continue expanding in Rexburg, while consolidating operations at the new Hemming Village development downtown. This move is necessary to meet the demands of the company’s rapidly growing business and customer base worldwide. The new offices are located at 175 W. Second South adjacent to Brigham Young University-Idaho. A new office opening and ribbon cutting event is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 10:30 a.m. at the Hemming Village location.

Fall River Electric in Ashton appoints new board member

Jeff Keay | Courtesy photo

ASHTON – Fall River Electric’s Board of Directors has selected Jeff Keay of Island Park to fill the remaining 2 years of board member Ralph Burton’s term, which expires in June of 2020. Burton moved from the area which, according to the Co-op’s bylaws, forces a vacancy which the board is required to fill via appointment. A nominating committee, comprised of owner-members of the Cooperative, provided the board with four highly qualified candidates which were then interviewed by the full board. Keay lives in District 8, which comprises members residing in northern Island Park.



The following is a news release from the Better Business Bureau.

Many people have them and wish they didn’t. When you get a call from someone who says they can get your student loans forgiven, it can be very tempting. But remember the adage if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. If it this type of call sounds like a scam, that’s because it is.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau offer these tips to protect yourself from these scammers:

  • Start with trust. Visit to read business profiles and check out companies before working with them. If you have been a victim of this scam, report it at
  • The FTC has updated its consumer education related to student loan debt relief scams at
  • Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness. Scammers often pretend to be affiliated with the government. Never pay a fee upfront for help. Never share sensitive information, such as your FSA ID.
  • Consumers can apply for loan deferments, forbearance, repayment and forgiveness or discharge programs directly through the U.S. Department of Education or their loan servicer at no cost, and do not require a third party. For federal student loan repayment options, visit Student loans can be forgiven only under specific circumstances, so contact your lender directly to see if any options are available to you.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Any company that claims it can erase your student loan debt in minutes is lying. Don’t bother responding to the ad or email.


Adult novelty store now open inside old restaurant in Idaho Falls

New Wendy’s coming to Rexburg

New haunted attraction opening in old Dr. Slaughter’s location

Rigby High grad’s exercise invention explodes on Kickstarter

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