Biz Buzz: Popular soda shop opens third location in eastern Idaho
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Owners of soda and treat shop open third location
REXBURG – When Robyn and Eric Eastin first opened Soda Vine at 50 South 2nd West in Rexburg seven years ago, they held the distinction of owning the only soda shop in Idaho.
Since then though, soda shops have become a popular niche in eastern Idaho with competitors popping up in almost every community. Despite the competition though, the Eastins say their business has not been impacted in the slightest.
The couple opened their third location in July at 1050 North 2nd East on the north end of Rexburg next to Porter’s Office Products. Robyn tells EastIdahoNews.com there was a huge demand for a second Rexburg store because the other one was bursting at the seams.
“We are so busy at our Rexburg location that we thought it would take the weight and pressure off of that store and bring some of the people that are coming from the north through town,” Robyn says.
They’re expecting a surge in business as Brigham Young University-Idaho gets back into session next month and students come back to town.
The treat and soda shop offers an unlimited amount of drink flavors, along with shakes, sundaes, milkshakes, cookies, pretzels and Gelati, which is a combination of Italian ice and custard.
Robyn refers to the new location as a Simply Soda Vine because it’s a mobile unit that offers a smaller menu than the other stores.
“We had to cut back on some of our products due to lack of space,” Robyn explains. “We don’t offer the ice cream products there, so no milkshakes and no Gelati. But we offer everything else.”
Unlike the other stores, this one is a drive-thru only to make it easy for customers to quickly grab something on their way in or out of town.
The creation of Soda Vine in 2014 stemmed in part from the couple’s ownership of Snoasis, a snow cone shack on Main Street in Rexburg. Robyn says they needed a place to store their products. In the process of looking for storage space, she did some research and learned that soda and cookies were a popular treat among people in the community.
“I also taught Culinary Arts and Nutrition at Madison High School. I wanted to offer a place of employment for students and education about entrepreneurial opportunities. I’d take my students on field trips there every trimester and talk to them about my vision and what I’ve done (to) encourage them … to do something that they’re passionate about,” Robyn says.
The Eastin’s opened a second store in St. Anthony at 147 North Bridge Street in May 2019 inside the former Lube Bay building, an old auto maintenance shop.
Seeing people have fun and enjoy the company of other people and a nice treat is something Robyn delights in. She says it “tickles her pink,” which is the name of one of her drinks and is a phrase her mom used to say.
“A lot of the names (for things on my menu) come from family members, so that’s been a fun play on words,” she says.
In fact, the name of her business comes from the phrase “So divine,” which is how she describes something that is beyond good or excellent.
“Some people don’t get that and then one day the light goes on and they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s clever,” Robyn says.
Robyn’s ultimate desire is to continue expanding her business and would eventually like to franchise it and have locations in other states. She has her eye on Idaho Falls, Rigby, Island Park and St. George, Utah as potential locations for a future store.