Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reinke named to bank board

Chris Reinke
Chris Reinke of Ashton has been named to the board of directors of the Bank of Idaho and Bank of Idaho Holding Co. Reinke is a third-generation owner and vice president of Reinke Grain, in Ashton.

“Chris’s years of quality experience as a business owner and his knowledge of local agriculture make him a great addition to the Bank of Idaho team,” said Jeff Newgard, the bank’s president and CEO.

Reinke is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in business management. While there, he was captain and a four-year letterman in golf.

Other Bank of Idaho board members will welcome Reinke at their next regular meeting, Nov. 14.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blasting to continue this week on Broadway excavation

An artist's rendition of what the Broadway will look like facing west.
Downtown Idaho Falls is going to be punctuated with the sound of blasting today through Thursday, as excavation work continues on The Broadway, the construction project under way at the corner of Broadway and Memorial.

Over the past couple of weeks, downtowners have heard – and felt – a number of explosions. This week's should be the last ones needed to facilitate groundwork on the development, according to Jeremy Malone, vice president of Oppenhemier Development Corp.

"We're shaking things up both literally and figuratively," he said. "We hope this will be a real catalyst project, something that will help energize the great things already happening in downtown Idaho Falls."

The Broadway is the Boise-based Oppenheimer Development’s first project in Idaho Falls. When finished, the project will be the site of two buildings housing approximately 35,000 square feet of retail and commercial business space; a public plaza featuring a fountain in the summer and potentially a skating rink in the winter; and approximately 71 public parking spaces with 49 below-ground and 22 ground-level spaces. Blasting was called for primarily because the below-ground parking spaces need to be hewed out of lava rock.

The list of new tenants currently includes Bank of Idaho, Lucy’s Pizzeria, Smokin Fins and Parsons Behle & Latimer. Currently, approximately two thirds of the rental space is spoken for.

From the project's inception, Oppenheimer Development has been working closely with the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency, the mayor's office and numerous city agencies to be certain that the finished site will be in keeping with the city's needs and vision.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ammon Kmart store slated to close

Ammon's Kmart store, which will be closing by January.
The Ammon Kmart store, 3101 E. 17th St., will be one of 45 closing this winter, according to an announcement from Sears Holdings, Kmart’s parent company.

The statement said a total of 63 Sears and Kmart stores will close by late January 2018. The Idaho Falls Sears, in the Grand Teton Mall, was not on the list.

"Sears Holdings continues its strategic assessment of the producitvity of our Kmart and Sears store base and will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size," the statement read. "We will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities match the needs and preferences of our members.

The statement says that eligible employees working at these stores will receive severance and be given the opportunity to apply for open positions at nearby Kmart or Sears stores.

Liquidation sales will begin Nov. 9 at closing stores. This development is the latest in a long line of closings for Sears Holdings. The company announced in July it would be closing 43 stores; in August, another 28.

Here’s an observation, posted on Facebook by a loyal BizmojoIdaho reader, John R. Parsons:

"For years (honest), Clair and I have driven past the local, typically-deserted K-Mart and asked each other, "How does that store survive?" It's been at least a couple of years since we actually set foot in the store. Even two years ago, there was a real funeral home feeling to the place. It was kinda like going to visitation for the deceased and wondering where the casket was. Meanwhile, all the merchandise felt old and unwanted. It was kinda spooky, actually, so spooky that we decided not to go there any more.

Somehow, against all odds, it hung on for these past two years. Now the jig's up and all the deck chairs will be thrown off the ship between now and January. One wonders what's next for that cavernous building with one of the area's largest parking lots?

Alas, Poor Sears. Check out the Sears stock chart. Ten years ago on April 27, 2007, just before the housing bubble burst, Sears was flying high at $191.93 share. Today it's trading at $5.36 (not a typo).

It's kinda sad to see the slow-motion demise of what were once two of America's retail giants. We have very fond memories of the famous K-Mart "Blue Light Specials". Who else remembers those?

Speaking of distant memories, few of you probably remember that K-Mart was actually once S. S. Kresge. And, yes, I have fond memories of shopping in the Lafayette, Indiana S. S. Kresge back in the 1950's. Times....they are a changin'..."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Chapolera Coffee opening shop on First Street

Buttercup Bakery, 335 First Street, is becoming Chapolera Coffee on Nov. 15. This is a great deal for both parties, as Buttercup’s owner, Neccia Hahn, has been trying to sell the business for some time and Chapolera’s owners, Art Baker and Jenny Bueno, have gotten enough of a foothold in the market to move out of the Idaho Innovation Center on North Yellowstone. The three became familiar with each other at the Farmer’s Market.

I know everyone is excited about Dutch Bros. Coffee coming to Idaho Falls (the article I posted yesterday got 43,000 page views, according to the dashboard page, which makes me wonder),  but if you want to know what real coffee tastes like you ought to try Chapolera Coffee.

Baker and Bueno set up shop as specialty coffee roasters in late 2016. Their goal was to bring fair trade values and personal passion to the process, providing high quality coffee that has come from people who have received a fair price for their efforts.

Baker, who has an engineering background, is a Michigan native and University of Michigan graduate. Bueno is a native of Colombia who grew up surrounded by coffee and its culture. The name Chapolera pays homage to the people, more specifically the women, who work on the coffee farms harvesting the coffee. For generations, Chapoleros and Chapoleras have harvested coffee from one farm or region to another, raising their families while on the road.

For more information, visit their web page at https://www.chapoleracoffee.com.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dutch Bros. building Idaho Falls store on North Woodruff

This is what you can expect to see soon where Sarah's Candy Cottage used to be.
BizMojo Idaho has information from its impeccably reliable sources that Dutch Bros. Coffee will be building its first store in Idaho Falls at 221 N. Woodruff Avenue, where Sarah’s Candy Cottage was.

If you’ve driven on North Woodruff in the last week, you undoubtedly will have noticed that the quaint little building where Sarah’s used to be has been razed. A permit for an 800-square-foot structure has been applied for at the Idaho Falls Building Department.

Dutch Bros. currently has several stores in Idaho, in the Treasure Valley, the Panhandle and one in Twin Falls.

The company was founded in 1992 in Grants Pass, Ore., by Dane and Travis Boersma, who’d opened a coffee stand at Dutcher Creek Golf Course. Third-generation dairy farmers, the realities of that business forced them out, so they took their espresso machine and experimented with a hundred pounds of coffee in their empty milk house. After a month of handing out free samples to friends and family, the duo began serving up mochas and lattes at a pushcart set up in downtown Grants Pass. They named their company Dutch Bros., and over the next few years permanent kiosks opened in other parts of the city, including a coffeehouse a few blocks from the original stand.

Today, the company is the country’s largest, privately held drive-thru coffee company, with more than 260 locations in seven states and over 5,000 employees. Dutch Bros. still gives away drinks — now over one million each year — to further the company's mission of “spreading the Dutch Luv.” The company donates over $2 million a year to its local communities and non-profit organizations, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, in honor of Dane Boersma, who passed away in 2009 after a four-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.