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Biz Buzz: Rigby woman enjoys making hand-dipped chocolates for customers

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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.



Local couple opens chocolate shop in Rigby

pandoras chocolate pic
Pandora’s Chocolate offers 57 different flavors of chocolate and other treats. | Rett Nelson,

RIGBY – Music from the 1920s and ’30s plays on an old tabletop radio in the back corner of Pandora’s Chocolate at 127 West Main Street in Rigby as customers choose from hundreds of homemade, hand-dipped chocolates.

Len and Karen Isaacson opened for business on April 22 in a building that was once a tattoo parlor. Karen tells customers are enjoying the vibe of the place.

Karen has always enjoyed music from that era, and chocolate has been a big part of her life since she was a kid. She owned a similar shop with her husband when they lived in Stevensville, Montana, about 14 years ago. In the last several years, she’s started dipping chocolates again and decided the time was right to open another business.

“It’s not something we planned on doing, but it just kind of grew,” says Karen. “It’s been great. It’s been fantastic!”

Karen specializes in making chocolates with cream centers. She says most customers are surprised by how good they are when they give them a try.

“They are amazingly smooth, creamy centers that are not your typical cream centers. We have 57 different flavors of chocolate right now. Most of them come in both milk and dark,” Karen says. “We have a lot of traditional flavors, but there are a lot of unusual ones, too.”

The muffin flavors are among the most unusual, along with pistachio, cookie butter, cheesecake and peanut butter & jelly. Isaacson also has fudge, chocolate-dipped chocolate chip cookies, chocolate-dipped fortune cookies and more.

Those who have been inside the 1,500-square-foot store have noticed the business is still a work in progress. In addition to chocolate treats, the Isaacsons are gathering products sold at other local businesses to sell in their store. Among the current offerings are jerky and honey.

The northeast corner of the store will feature work from entrepreneurs, artists, craftsmen and others in the community.

Natalie Mecham is a local watercolor artist who will be setting up a display this Friday for customers to see over the next three months.

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“I will have several examples of commissioned pieces I’ve done, as well as greeting card sets and prints available to purchase. My daughters will also have a small collection of bath salts they have made for sale,” Mecham says. “We plan on donating a portion of our proceeds to charity.”

mecham art
A montage of Mecham’s art. | Courtesy Natalie Mecham Art Facebook page

Karen is planning a grand opening once the store is complete. A specific date has not yet been determined.

The Isaacsons are looking forward to serving customers as they continue to add new products to the store.

“We love what we do,” Karen says. “I’m here 12 hours a day every day, and so you have to love it.”

Pandora’s Chocolate is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit the Facebook page for more information.


Authentic Hawaiian-style barbecue restaurant opening in Ammon this week

AMMON – With a menu reflecting the Hawaiian culture, Mo’ Bettahs will serve authentic plate-style meals featuring teriyaki chicken or steak, kalua pork, and a breaded chicken katsu. Mo’ Bettahs offers drive-thru, dine-in, delivery, online ordering and catering services.

Mo’ Bettahs, in the Sandcreek Commons shopping center at 3427 South 25th East in Ammon, will become the chain’s 22 location and the second one in Idaho when it opens Friday, May 7. An additional 19 new locations are set to open by the end of 2021, with restaurants in Idaho, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri.

Savory Fund invested in Mo’ Bettahs in 2017. Savory infuses startup brands with capital and pairs them with its team of industry veterans, who have experience in everything from development and construction to supply chain and facilities management. With Savory’s support, Mo’ Bettahs has all the pieces in place to reaffirm its status as the leader in authentic Hawaiian-style food and become a major player across the U.S.

Upcoming events for you and your family at the Idaho Falls Zoo

IDAHO FALLS – The Idaho Falls Zoo’s 2021 season is off to a wild start, and zoo employees are roaring right into May with some events you may be interested in.

A new zoo fundraiser called Sippin’ Safari is happening on May 7 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Stroll the zoo and listen to live music with your family. Adult and non-alcoholic drinks will be available, so bring your ID. All ages are welcome. Tickets must be purchased online before the event. Zoo memberships aren’t valid for entry.

All the ladies are invited to enjoy admission to the zoo for only 50 cents with a paid child admission on Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9. Bring Mom to see Zasu, the mama camel, and adorable new calf, Liam.

The zoo is offering free admission for former or active military personnel (with valid military ID) on May 15. Immediate family members in their group will also receive free admission.

Bring the family to explore science, technology, engineering, art and math for Fluor Idaho’s STEAM Day at the zoo May 15. There will be hands-on interactive activities from noon to 3 p.m.

Between Memorial and Labor Day weekends, meet a penguin or take a look behind the scenes. Penguin Interaction Programs and Behind the Scenes Tours offer you an incredible, personalized experience at the zoo. Learn more and book your program here.

The zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., including holidays.



Martial arts school in Ammon helps students learn discipline and leadership

AMMON – For Scott and Tia Southwick, martial arts is a lifelong passion.

They began teaching Taekwondo, kung fu and other forms of martial arts to people of all ages more than 20 years ago, and they’re thrilled to be open in a new building at 3485 Rawson Street in Ammon.

The duo began holding classes in the 6,000-square-foot space about six weeks ago, and Tia tells it’s four times the size of their previous location, allowing room for more students.



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