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Biz Buzz: Nostalgic treat shop in Shelley undergoing expansion after posting eyebrow-raising sign

Biz Buzz

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

SHELLEY

Nostalgic treat shop in Shelley expanding with new amenities, Airbnb

treats pic
A look inside #Treats at 326 North State Street in Shelley. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

SHELLEY – A nostalgic treat shop in Shelley that raised eyebrows last year for posting political signs out front is in the middle of a massive expansion project.

#Treats offers a variety of nostalgic sweets from the 1900s, including Abba-Zabas, Coconut Slices, Whistle Pops (which are similar to Toot Sweets from the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”), Black Cows, Bottlecaps and Nickel Nips wax bottles. One of the most popular items is bubble gum cigarettes.

RELATED | Political sign in front of treats business draws customer support and complaints

In January, the shop moved a few blocks from its old location at 202 South State Street to 326 North State Street.

Though the business originally opened in 2019, owner Stephanie Christensen tells EastIdahoNews.com it was the buzz from the political signs that really got people’s attention and led to a massive uptick in customers.

“I haven’t had anybody come in and say, ‘We found you because of your sign, and I’m not going to shop here.’ People come in here to shop,” Christensen says. “Our sales increased quite a bit.”

#Treats sign
Flint Christensen posted this sign in front of the store last year. | Stephanie Christensen

The move is a direct result of that increase, Christensen says, and there are several new developments in the works.

Stephanie and her husband, Flint, will soon have an ice cream bar inside where they’ll be serving Farr’s Ice Cream to customers.

“We will have a soda bar so you can flavor your own sodas. It’s kinda like Pick Me Up, but you can do it yourself,” says Stephanie. “And I would like to add bottled sodas that you can’t find anywhere else.”

They’ve also added a space for karaoke and open mic night.

A new feature will combine an escape room with a haunted house.

“It progressively gets harder because you move from one room to another,” she says. “Very interactive and there will be times when you won’t be able to finish (because the puzzles are so challenging).”

All of that is a work in progress and is slated to be unveiled at a later date. But that only scratches the surface.

The shop’s new building is part of what used to be a motel, and the duo is not letting it go to waste. They have been hard at work over the last several months converting each of the rooms into the FlintRock Retreat, a series of themed Airbnb suites for tourists.

“What we’re trying to do … is make it something similar to a Black Swan Inn, but for families,” Flint explains. “(Each room) will have a regional feel capturing the aesthetics of the area.”

Since many of the people who visit #Treats are on their way to national parks, some of the suites will have names like “Teton,” “Yellowstone” or “Moab.” Other rooms have animal names, such as “Turtle Lodge” and “Fox Hollow.”

In addition to tourists, another large portion of their customers are traveling nurses and interns with the Idaho National Laboratory. They’re hoping to provide an affordable option for people needing a place to stay amid the housing shortage.

Flint says nine of the 15 rooms are now open to guests, but they’re booked through August. The space includes a kitchen and laundry area and a place for guests to exercise and relax.

Hot tubs and other amenities will be added in the future. Flint expects this to be an evolving and ongoing project over the next several years.

“As we’re doing renovations, we are definitely keeping our prices low so that we’re accommodating the guests as they’re accommodating us,” Flint says. “We’re taking the money we’re making and putting it right back into (construction).”

RELATED | Local treat shop sees major increase in sales as second anniversary approaches

A sign with a political opinion is what started all of this and Flint and his wife are pleased with the business’s growth and success.

But when asked if the signs will be making a return, Flint says his perspective has changed a bit. After an unsuccessful run for U.S. Congress in the May primary, Flint says “it’s more important to be a teacher than a fighter.”

“I’ve taken a little bit different path on the political things,” says Flint. “I enjoy being an antagonizer as much as the next guy but … I’ve hung up my hat as far as antagonizing (and the sign will not be coming back).”

#Treats opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Those wanting to stay at the Airbnb can make a reservation online.

BIZ BITS

Local shirt shop gearing up for second annual 5K benefit fun run

IDAHO FALLS – Little Mama Shirt Shop is hosting Color Me Crazy, a 5k fun run at Iona Park and Community Center on July 16 at 8:15 a.m.

RELATED | Local mom celebrates motherhood one shirt at a time

Little Mama Shirt Shop seeks to connect women and encourages them to lift each other up and find their voice among their many different roles and responsibilities. That’s why they will be giving all proceeds from the race and donating it to the local women’s shelter.

There will be several prizes for the top finishers and other racers. There is also a virtual option to run the race and submit your time digitally.

Admission price is $35 and will include a shirt for the race. Click here to register.

New food vendors opening in Idaho Falls strip

IDAHO FALLS – New food vendors will be opening at the Yellowstone Food Village in Idaho Falls.

The Idaho Innovation Center is opening six different restaurants at 2288 North Yellowstone Highway. Among them will be La Carreta Mexican, Tropical Paradise, Yoimi sushi, Rose Marie’s gluten-free, U Down Ha-Y-an Hot Plate, and Thai Food Plus.

In addition to finding a variety of dining options, there are picnic tables and a gazebo area to enjoy your food.

Visit the website for more information or call (208) 523-1026.

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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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