Biz Buzz: Rigby couple opens mobile pizza restaurant
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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.
Serving customers Neapolitan-style pizza is a dream come true for Rigby man
IDAHO FALLS – Ever since Parker Cook got a portable high heat pizza oven, making pizza has been an enjoyable pastime for him and his family. After six years, opening a pizza restaurant just seemed like a natural fit.
Cook and his wife, Camille, are the owners of Basil and Bloom, a food truck that makes Neapolitan-style pizza with sourdough crust. Cook offers four daily flavors — marinara, margherita, pepperoni and crema — with a combination of rotating flavors. Margherita, which comes with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil and olive oil, is one of the most popular.
“One of our favorite specials is our Hawaiian pizza. It’s different in that we don’t use tomato sauce. I use a homemade, roasted pineapple sauce,” Cook tells EastIdahoNews.com. “If any of our specials are going to become a regular menu item, it’s going to be that one. That’s one we get a lot of requests for.”
The truck opened on April 30 and is equipped with two 900-degree ovens. Each pizza is made with local and American-made ingredients and cooked in 90 seconds.
It also offers catering services, and the sourdough starters can be purchased separately.
“For the past two years, my wife and I have wanted to open (a restaurant),” Cook says. “We had the opportunity to start working on this trailer about a year and a half ago after we’d been planning it out. We had it custom built. It was finished this February. We had our launch on April 30 with great reception from the community.”
Considering his passion for making food and his background in the industry, it’s clear that Cook is appropriately named.
The 34-year-old Rigby resident graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a minor in culinary arts. He spent five years as a research and development chef and food safety manager before settling on pizza specifically.
“I’m very analytical with my food, and so sourdough and pizza was a good fit. People have been telling us for years that we should find a way to sell our pizza,” he says.
Cook likes the mobile aspect of the business and isn’t planning to open a permanent location. He’s thrilled he and his wife get to work together on other ventures and he’s happy to see the realization of his dream project with Basil and Bloom.
Basil and Bloom is open on the weekends at varying locations throughout eastern Idaho, which you can follow on Instagram.
“We’re mostly serving between Rexburg and Idaho Falls,” Cook says. “On Thursday, we’re going to be in Idaho Falls at the Eagle Eye Produce sales office on Woodruff. On Saturday will be an open house.”
Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce celebrates opening of American Auto College
BLACKFOOT – Tadd Jenkins and the Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce are excited about the opening of the American Auto College office at 1010 West Bridge Street in Blackfoot. The parties celebrated with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday afternoon.
American Auto College is a new technical school beginning classes in Blackfoot this summer. It offers a unique Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology degree program designed to address and train a new generation of automotive technicians.
Unlike traditional technical schools, AAC emphasizes hands-on learning. By partnering with local dealerships, students in the program earn years of real-world experience through a paid internship in an auto shop where they are encouraged to apply what they’re learning in their classes. Students not only earn competitive wages and full benefits, but the dealerships have also agreed to pay 100% of the interns’ tuition and training costs.
By completing the program, students will learn every facet of becoming an Automotive Service Excellence and manufacturer-certified automotive technician. Upon completing the program, graduates are guaranteed an offer of employment with the dealership where they completed their internships. With a nationwide shortage of automotive technicians, AAC graduates will have the opportunity to establish meaningful and rewarding careers that will benefit their local community.
EastIdahoNews.com will post a more in-depth story soon.
U.S. senator recognizes downtown Idaho Falls business
IDAHO FALLS – Poppy & Pout, a small business based in downtown Idaho Falls, was named Small Business of the Month from Sen. Jim Risch for the month of May. Included in this recognition was an official addition in the official Congressional Record by the senator’s office through the Government Publishing Office.
Sen. Risch launched the campaign, “Support Local Gems,” during the early days of the pandemic to boost support for locally owned businesses. The campaign highlighted the important work of small-business owners.
Poppy & Pout was founded in 2014 by Derek Cooper from his kitchen in Rexburg while studying at BYU-Idaho. In 2021, Derek opened a factory and brick-and-mortar boutique shop for his growing lip balm business. Poppy & Pout lip balms grew in popularity quickly with quantities of lip balm stocked in Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and a pop-up shop in a limited number of Nordstrom retail stores.
During the summer of 2021, the space caught the eye of Oprah’s team, and the Poppy & Pout lip balms were featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things list in 2021.