MCCAMMON — Two McCammon area women have gone together to open a combined farmers market and restaurant called Little Rock Grill, Bakery and Farm Market.
Entrepreneurs Kathy Spiegel and Teresa Buss both say it's a beneficial change.
"It was a no-brainer for us," Buss said.
Spiegel says that small businesses getting together and being creative will be good for McCammon, which seems to be growing.
"There are people moving into the area,” Spiegel said.
Buss owns the eatery and the building at 201 Center St. in McCammon that includes the two separate ventures.
Spiegel previously oversaw the cooperative that ran the farmers market at the Pine Ridge Mall in Chubbuck. The farmers market closed when the mall did due to the COVID-19 virus, she said.
Plus, the COVID-19 restrictions for a restaurant the size of that owned by Teresa Buss reduced seating capacity in the 90-year-old building.
And with the reduced seating there isn’t enough table space inside the building to turn a profit for a sit-down restaurant. So the two chose to do something about it.
"We got to talking and decided this might be a nice kind of marriage of two businesses that would probably not otherwise survive over the next couple of months to years," Spiegel said.
Spiegel said the co-op carried Buss’ bakery goods at the mall for 11 years. So they already knew each other.
While Spiegel doesn’t see the economy getting back to normal for a while, hopefully there are enough people in the area to make a go of the Little Rock Grill, Bakery and Farm Market, she says
Spiegel estimates there are about 1,500 households in what they consider their service area around McCammon.
That includes Lava Hot Springs, Arimo, Downey, Inkom, Swanlake and Robin.
“So it’s a fairly good-sized service area and McCammon is central,” Spiegel said.
Thus the Little Rock Grill, Bakery and Farm Market has been open since June 1 on Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m
"It's different,” Spiegel said. “It’s different and it's kind of eclectic.”
The farm market business provides plants, meat eggs, produce, coffee and tea, jewelry, crafts and other offerings, Spiegel said.
About 90 percent of the produce and items are from nearby Marsh Valley Farms and Gardens.
Meanwhile, Buss has been serving take-out meals and has recently added outdoor seating.
She offers hamburgers and baked goods such as bread, cinnamon rolls and other bakery goods.
Spiegel said that being in one place and not having to travel to Pocatello for the Portneuf Valley Farmers Market will have some benefits, such as saving money on gas.
"It's good for us even though our total volume will probably be a bit less," Spiegel said.
It also means it will be easier to staff the site.
Meanwhile, they also plan further remodeling for the building, including barriers and a garden.
In addition, she emphasizes that their effort at the Little Rock Bakery, Grill and Farm Market are complementary, rather than competitive, to the weekly city-run farmers market on Fridays at the McCammon Pavilion. The city program runs three hours a week from 9 a.m. to noon.
Spiegel invites all growers and others interested to attend.
"The more the merrier," Spiegel said.