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Biz Buzz: Authentic Italian restaurant opening in eastern Idaho next month

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Some of the dishes that will be served at Mama Fla, a new Italian restaurant opening at 385 River Parkway in Idaho Falls next month. | Facebook

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 BRIEF

IDAHO FALLS

Local couple preparing to serve authentic Italian food for customers in eastern Idaho

Logo for Mama Fla opening in Idaho Falls in late June. | Facebook

IDAHO FALLS – An new restaurant offering authentic Italian food is opening in Idaho Falls soon.

Mama Fla Authentic Italian Cuisine is opening in late June at 385 River Parkway next to the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Marco Assirelli and his wife, Flaminia, are the owners. Marco tells EastIdahoNews.com the business will offer a casual dining experience with a variety of pasta dishes made fresh daily.

Some of those dishes include fettuccine, linguine, lasagne and rigatoni with different types of sauces. Also on the menu is risotto, a northern Italian rice dish cooked with broth and served at a creamy consistency with mushrooms, sausage and bacon.

“It’s real Italian cuisine based mostly around Rome. Lasagne is from Bologna (in northern Italy), and risotto is from northwest Italy,” Marco says.

The restaurant will be open to anyone but will cater primarily to those walking along the greenbelt. Take-out and catering options will be available to customers as well.

The Assirellis are from Rome and moved to Idaho Falls less than two years ago. Marco works for a company called Sensor Medica, an international corporation that makes sensor devices for gate and body motion analysis. They moved to Idaho Falls to open an American branch in 2019.

Marco says he and his wife owned a more elegant version of his restaurant in Rome five years ago and wanted to open one in Idaho Falls because there are no other Italian eating establishments around.

“You have to go to Salt Lake to find Italian people that are making Italian food,” he says. “My wife has the passion of the kitchen and cooking, and so she was thinking of (offering catering services). Then we found a nice location, and we said, ‘Let’s open a restaurant.'”

Over the last couple of years, Flaminia and her husband have hosted parties at their home and cooked Italian food. Flaminia says all of her friends encouraged her to open a restaurant after sampling her cooking.

“They asked me, ‘Why haven’t you opened a restaurant? You are great! You need to open an authentic Italian restaurant here in Idaho Falls’ … and I decided (it was a great) opportunity,” Flaminia says.

Flaminia will be the heart of the restaurant, Marco says, and the word “Fla” in Mama Fla is an abbreviation of her name.

RELATED | Idaho Falls Farmers Market returns Saturday for 2021 season

The Assirellis started selling their food at the Idaho Falls Farmer’s Market last weekend. Every item sold out quickly, and they’re preparing even more items for this weekend. They’re inviting you to stop by and see them.

“It’s the only red booth and is the first one (coming) from Broadway, so it’s very visible,” says Marco.

A restaurant grand opening is in the works once the remodel of the current building is complete. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

BIZ BITS

Employment agency in Pocatello seeing massive increase in job placement

POCATELLO – Gem State Staffing, based in Pocatello, is under new management and is pleased to announce several new faces. James Baxter is the new branch manager, and Colin Wolf is the assistant manager. Both men bring a combined 40 years of experience to the staffing industry and played a role in increasing employee hiring by 35% and negotiating competitive wages last year.

Staffing companies played an essential role in helping those who were furloughed or laid off during the pandemic get safely back to work. Multiple states are now beginning to eliminate unemployment benefits in order to help people return to work and support businesses and their employees, according to a Gem State news release.

New McDonald’s being built in Blackfoot

BLACKFOOT – Parkway drive in Blackfoot is a McFlurry of activity with reports of several new businesses moving in that area. One of them is McDonald’s. The current building was recently demolished and is being replaced with a new one that is slated for completion in September. Owner-operator Trent Cichos tells EastIdahoNews.com the new store will be a little larger and have a dual lane drive-thru, indoor playland and limited outdoor seating. The building is under construction at 1275 Parkway Drive.

RELATED | Local McDonald’s closes after 18 years of business

Nonprofit thrift store breaking ground on new residential campus for kids

IDAHO FALLS – A local thrift store that provides a variety of services for kids and their families is expanding its reach in Idaho. Idaho Youth Ranch is breaking ground on a new Residential Center for Healing & Resilience at 28371 El Paso Road in Caldwell. The facility will serve more than 100 kids a year and include a year-round school with 64 beds and a gymnasium. It will be a long-term residential facility for vulnerable Idaho kids who would otherwise be sent out of state. The groundbreaking ceremony is happening Thursday, May 13. Construction will take around 18 months and is slated for completion in late 2022.

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Local movie theater reopening this weekend after yearlong closure

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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