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Biz Buzz: Ammon family’s Italian ice pop-up is now a year-round business

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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.

BIZ BUZZ

AMMON

Their pop-up Italian ice business closed at the end of the summer, but they’re still filling orders

pineapple italian ice
Courtesy Mark Richardson

AMMON – When Rita’s Italian Ice Cafe closed down several years ago, Misty Richardson of Ammon started wondering where she could go to satisfy her craving for the non-dairy ice cream-like treat.

After watching her brother’s Italian ice business take off on the East Coast, she thought about starting a similar venture in her neighborhood. As she discussed it with her husband, Mark, they decided, if nothing else, it was a good opportunity to teach their kids the work ethic of running a business.

They set up a stand in their front yard this spring without fanfare, and Mark tells EastIdahoNews.com the response has been surprising.

“People kept coming again and again and again. Word spread through Instagram and Facebook, and we had people from all the city coming,” Mark says. “It kind of seemed like people were hungry for that kind of interaction (coming out of a pandemic). They’d come and order ice but then sit and talk for an hour.”

They closed the stand at the end of the summer, but Mark says they’ve continued to receive a steady stream of orders. Many people have called requesting half-gallon or gallon containers of Italian ice, which led to the creation of a website where orders can be placed year-round.

pina colada and peach mango
Mark Richardson

The Richardsons offer a variety of homemade Italian ice flavors. Two of their most popular are tropical winds, which is pina colada with strawberry swirls, and peach mango coconut with chunks of frozen raspberry (pictured above). A seasonal peppermint flavor is available for Christmas, and they’re still working on a Thanksgiving flavor.

Going forward, Mark says they don’t want to be a nuisance to their neighbors, and they’re looking into setting up a pop-up location elsewhere. An exact spot has not been determined. They’re also exploring the possibility of getting a trailer or opening a permanent location somewhere in town.

“We’re not experienced in that, and we’re not sure that we want to be running multiple locations, so we’ll see (what happens). I think it’s still pretty early (in the game to know for sure),” he says.

But through it all, there is one thing Mark is sure about — Summer Nights Italian Ice will remain a family venture and a way to teach his kids the value of hard work, entrepreneurism and reaching goals.

To place an order or to learn more, visit the website. You can also visit the Facebook page or call (208) 709-9654.

BIZ BITS

New Cajun restaurant opens in Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALLS – A new Cajun restaurant just opened in Idaho Falls. It’s called That Gumbo Guy and it offers everything from gumbo to Bourdain balls, a mixture of ground pork and rice. It’s at 3950 South Yellowstone Highway. EastIdahoNews.com reached out to the owner and we’re hoping to post a more in-depth story soon.

Identifying threats and knowing how to respond to them is focus of self-defense training business

REXBURG – Robert and Catrina Wylie are the owners of a business that teaches a variety of self-defense practices for customers. It’s called DPPDefense and teaches everything from striking a target to using your natural instincts to help you know how to react in a threatening situation, whether it involves another person or animals. It also addresses common misconceptions so you can avoid becoming a target in an emergency. EastIdahoNews.com will post a more in-depth story soon.

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Convenience store chain giving away 150 tanks of gas for Thanksgiving

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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