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Biz Buzz: Popular soda and cookie shop is back

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Jason Jackman in front of his soda shack in Idaho Falls. | Courtesy Jason Jackman

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.

BIZ BRIEFS

IDAHO FALLS

Soda Tsunami is back in business in Idaho Falls

Soda Tsunami’s old storefront at 3460 South 25th East in Idaho Falls. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – The wait is over. Soda Tsunami is officially back in business.

The business opened Wednesday near Best Buy in Idaho Falls inside a small shack.

Jason Jackman, of Phoenix, Arizona, bought the business from Jonathan and Amanda Rosenberg in October, and he tells EastIdahoNews.com he’s thrilled the soda shop is serving customers again.

“We want people to know we’re actually open now,” Jackman says. “The social media buzz has had a fantastic response.”

The business was off to a quiet start Wednesday morning, but quickly got busy in the afternoon, Jackman says.

RELATED | Soda Tsunami reopening in Idaho Falls under new ownership

The shack was originally supposed to open in December but was pushed back due to construction delays.

The name, logo and business model established by the previous owners are still in place. Jackman says customers can expect the same menu and service, along with a few new twists.

“We’re really trying to promote deliveries because of COVID,” he says.

Customers living in Idaho Falls can place an order and have it delivered at home or work. He’s also planning to host competitions between the community and his employees with monthly drink specials and new drink flavors.

Soda Tsunami is known for its cookies, specialty sodas and drinks, smoothies, coffee, hot chocolate, steamers, and other treats. It has also had “spirit drinks” for each high school in Idaho Falls.

Jackman has always loved pop and has always enjoyed his experience at Soda Tsunami. He’s had several conversations with the Rosenbergs about franchising the business. When they listed the business for sale last year, he decided to purchase it.

RELATED | Popular soda shop for sale after 3 years of business

Though the Rosenbergs no longer own the business, Jackman says they will continue to play a role. Jonathan and Amanda’s son, Kolbe, is now the general manager, and the couple will continue to cater at special events like birthdays and weddings.

“She (Amanda) created a good niche there,” Jason said in November. “She’ll come and set up and be there for whatever the customer would like. We bought a concessions trailer, so we’ll be out and about in various locations throughout the spring, summer and fall … to sell our products.”

Jackman is planning to open a storefront in the near future and would like to expand the business to Pocatello, Burley and Arizona where he lives.

He’s inviting you to come and give it a try.

Call (208) 970-6712 to place an order. Soda Tsunami is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday with a 10 p.m. closing time Friday and Saturday. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Local restaurant changes name, menu due to COVID-19

Courtesy photo

IDAHO FALLS – After two years of business in Idaho Falls, a popular restaurant is shifting the way it does business. 1 Fine Cafe at 1900 Channing Way is now Elevate Bake Shop.

The menu includes bread, savory pies, dessert pies, tortes, quiches and other baked goods.

In an email newsletter to customers, owner David Kempner says the change in name and menu is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we conduct business,” Kempner writes. “As much as we loved being a full-service café, that model was nearly unsustainable in good times and is now not at all sustainable in today’s environment.”

RELATED | What local businesses are doing to adapt during the coronavirus threat

At the onset of the pandemic, the restaurant transitioned to take-out only. Kempner and his team were forced to offer a special take-out menu to help customers get in and out quickly. Though the business continued to operate successfully, Kempner says the change no longer represented his vision of what 1 Fine Café was supposed to be.

“A large part of my cheffing career … has been in the mountain towns of Colorado, where food, culture, and a mountain state-of-mind collide. To put it bluntly, we miss our mountain town and how it made us feel,” says Kempner. “In the spirit of those mountain towns, the food, culture, and that unmistakable ‘mountain-town-feeling,’ we say goodbye to 1 Fine Café, and welcome in Elevate Bake Shop.”

1 Fine Cafe was a European-style restaurant with a breakfast and lunch menu. It opened in the fall of 2018.

RELATED | New European-style restaurant opening in Idaho Falls soon

Kempner is grateful for the community’s support over the last several years and is looking forward to continuing to serve customers in eastern Idaho.

Those who purchased gift cards to his restaurant can still use them for any purchase from the bakery, he says.

Visit the website or Facebook page for more information.

BIZ BITS

Portneuf Greenway seeks grant funding for trail extension and pedestrian bridge

POCATELLO – The Portneuf Greenway Foundation is pleased to announce that it will be submitting grant applications to extend the Brennan Trail and to install a pedestrian bridge connecting the new trail to the Millward Mile Trail. The new trail will be located along the east side of the Portneuf River across from Pocatello’s Sacajawea Park. Work proposed in the grant application includes clearing brush and grading, graveling and paving about 1,600 feet of new trail from the north end of the existing Brennan Trail to the Millward Mile Trail. The pedestrian bridge will be a prefabricated structure installed adjacent to the existing bridge for the North Main Extension. The trail extension will provide a safe off-street route for pedestrians and cyclists traveling along the North Main Extension and will add another trail loop to the system of trails in Sacajawea Park. The foundation will use this grant funding to contract for construction on property owned by the city of Pocatello.

EIRMC receives A grade in annual safety review

IDAHO FALLS — Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has received an A in the Fall 2020 Hospital Safety Score published by The Leapfrog Group. The designation recognizes exceptional performance that consistently meets evidence-based patient safety guidelines. EIRMC is the only hospital in southeast Idaho to earn an A. Over 2,600 hospitals in the U.S are given a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel on patient safety analyzes 27 national performance, quality and outcome measures to assign the “grade.” The goal is to provide patients and their families with information to make educated choices about their healthcare. To see EIRMC’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit the Hospital Safety Score website.

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

AMMON

New baseball and softball gym in Ammon helps young athletes improve their skills

AMMON – There’s only one thing Billy Butler loves more than baseball, and that’s being able to pass on his love and knowledge of the game to young athletes.

He and his wife, Katie, opened the Idaho Athlete Project at 2770 East 14th North in Ammon on Dec. 1. It is an 8,200-square-foot baseball and softball training facility.

“The response has been great,” Billy tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We have 35-40 members already.”

The business provides athletes and anyone who wants to increase their performance in the sport a place to practice with batting cages and a pitching area. There are also weights and treadmills so people can work out.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

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If you have a Biz Buzz item you want to share, send it to rett@eastidahonews.com. Remember to use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the free Biz Buzz email newsletter.

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