Biz Buzz: Local buffet will reopen soon
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Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.
Chuck-A-Rama in Ammon will reopen, despite rumors to the contrary
AMMON — Despite rumors that Chuck-A-Rama has been sold and is closing permanently, company President Rene Shuurman tells EastIdahoNews.com its closure is only temporary.
“As soon as we can and we feel like the timing’s right, we’re going to be opening up every Chuck-A-Rama and going full steam ahead,” Shuurman says.
An exact date for reopening has not yet been determined because Shuurman says “every day is a new insight to what it might be.”
“If the public says ‘We’re sick of this,’ and the restaurants start packing them in, we’re open,” he says. “We’re just playing it by ear and hoping that this will pass and get better and normalize (as much as possible).”
Chuck-A-Rama introduced a grab-n-go option for customers several months before the pandemic began. At the height of COVID-19, it switched to curbside and takeout only but eventually closed completely because it wasn’t getting a good response.
Though it’s available to everyone, the takeout option was specifically aimed at elderly customers who are unable to come in the restaurant.
Shuurman says the company is looking forward to providing this option to customers again.
“You can come in and get all of our good food, put it in packages and take it home to Grandma. We get calls all the time. We have lots and lots of regular customers, and sometimes, as they age, they can’t come. Now we can bring food to them,” he says.
Before the pandemic, Shuurman says business was great. The Ammon store was the last of the franchise’s 12 locations to close.
“We stayed open until the very bitter end, until they finally said, ‘You’ve gotta close,'” he says.
Chuck-A-Rama Buffet is famous for its chicken and rolls. Shuurman says all the food is made from scratch daily.
“Older folks come for the rice pudding, the bread pudding that has been around for 53 years. Our gravy is made from the drippings of our roast beef, so it’s real gravy. Our mashed potatoes are from real potatoes,” he says. “It’s kind of like going to Grandma’s house.”
The carrot cake is even made from scratch — not a mix, Shuurman says.
The Moss family first opened Chuck-A-Rama in Salt Lake City 56 years ago, Shuurman says. The intent was to create a place where people could come and get home-cooked meals. It’s remained a family-owned business over the years.
It’s grown to include 10 locations throughout Utah and two in Idaho. The one in Ammon opened sometime in the 1990s.
“We’ve been around a long time, and we’re going to be around a long time. We are absolutely going to open (again),” Shuurman says.
Chuck-A-Rama Buffet is at 999 S. 25th East in Ammon. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week with an 8 p.m. closing time Sunday.
ISU to confer 2,115 degrees and certificates in spring 2020
POCATELLO – A total of 1,989 spring and summer graduates will receive 2,115 degrees and certificates from Idaho State University this spring, with 119 students receiving multiple certificates or degrees. At the 2019 winter commencement in December, Idaho State University conferred 539 degrees to 510 graduates, so the total number of degrees conferred by ISU during the 2019-20 academic year is 2,654 to 2,499 students. ISU commencement ceremonies in Holt Arena were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this spring’s graduates are invited to participate in ISU’s winter commencement ceremonies in December. The last day of classes is May 8.
Bingham Healthcare now offering COVID-19 antibody testing
BLACKFOOT – Bingham Healthcare primary care providers and urgent care facilities across eastern Idaho are now providing COVID-19 antibody testing. An antibody test can determine if someone has been infected and recovered, and the organization says it’s proud to bring this important test to the community as everyone works together to stay healthy. If you have a medical need or would like to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies, you can walk right into any of our three urgent care facilities, including 1st Choice Urgent Care Bannock Highway in Pocatello, 1st Choice Urgent Care in Blackfoot, and Ammon Medical and Urgent Care. The Pocatello office can be reached at (208) 239-6511. The Blackfoot office is (208) 782-2410, and in Ammon call (208) 529-2828.
Sterling Urgent Care in Idaho Falls is also offering COVID-19 testing. Call (208) 542-9111 for more information.
EIRMC names new assistant chief nursing officer
IDAHO FALLS – Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has hired Jami Lieber as assistant chief nursing officer, a role that is part of the hospital’s administrative team. In this role, Lieber will work with the chief nursing officer to oversee clinical nursing operations throughout the hospital, ensure quality patient care and lead efforts to increase patient satisfaction. Lieber has recently served as administrative director of medical surgical services, as well as administrative director of cardiovascular and imaging services at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas.
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Owner of local drink shack delights in making customers smile one drink at a time
RIGBY – Four miles north of Rigby, off Exit 325, is a popular stop for drivers on U.S. Highway 20.
Idaho Falls resident Jessica Carson owns and operates Cup O’ Bliss, a small drink shack at 659 N. Yellowstone Highway.
She offers a variety of organic espressos and coffees, frappes, smoothies, Italian cream soda, lemonade, frosties and more to satisfy people’s cravings during their commute.