Biz Buzz: Local soda shack expanding with new locations throughout eastern Idaho
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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.
Owners of local drink shack open 3 new locations with more on the way
AMMON – Pick Me Up in Ammon is a popular place for many people to get their soda and cookie fix, and that popularity continues to grow.
Since purchasing the business last fall, owners Zac and Amy Martin tell EastIdahoNews.com the company has grown from nine employees to 53 and several new locations recently opened up. The new locations are at 900 Pancheri Drive in Idaho Falls, inside the old Soda Junkies location in Shelley at 450 N. State Street, and the old Sip Shop in Rigby at 150 E. 1st South.
“It’s been really good. We have a lot more locations coming, too,” Zac says. “We’ve separated the company and its intellectual property into two separate companies and started franchising out Pick Me Up.”
Zac says two more Idaho Falls locations will be opening over the next several months. Locations in Rexburg, Blackfoot, Pocatello and Utah are in the works as well.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg for us, honestly,” Amy says.
Zac says the skills they’ve acquired in other business ventures have directly contributed to the growth at Pick Me Up. The couple formed The Group Real Estate in 2016.
Another reason for the explosive growth, Amy says, is the customer experience.
“Our employees are trained to not just be drink makers. They love to have conversations with people coming through. Even though we try to make it as quick as possible, the experience should be the highlight of someone’s day,” Amy says.
Amy’s experience as a Pick Me Up customer is what attracted her to the business in the first place.
Amy says Josh Searle initially opened for business in 2016 in a small shack he had built at 2861 Eagle Drive behind Edward’s Theatre in Ammon. She made daily visits to the drink shop after having twins about 18 months ago.
“Strapping the kids in the car and going to (Pick Me Up) was my way of getting out of the house and having a conversation with people that weren’t my children,” she says. “(The employees) had a really good attitude all the time.”
Zac and Amy approached Searle last fall and purchased the business from him in October.
“We have people that come through and when they hear that I’m the owner, they compliment me on my staff,” Amy says. “We have delicious drinks, but it’s the staff that changes everything.”
Pick Me Up offers custom-mixed sodas with seemingly endless combinations, cookies, popcorn and hot chocolate. Amy says the most popular item is the Posh, which is coke or diet coke with fresh lime and coconut.
Pick Me Up will begin offering catering services for weddings and other events soon.
Amy says they’re grateful for all the community support and they’re looking forward to serving more customers.
“This is something we’re super passionate about,” she says. “We have other businesses that we run, but this is by far the (most fun) thing that we do.”
Pick Me Up is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday at each of their locations. It is also open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. The Ammon location is open Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.