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.
Local couple living the ultimate fantasy as authors, wedding venue owners
Loft 745 is at 5 North 3800 East in Jefferson County. | Photo on right courtesy Josh Foster
RIGBY – For Josh and Georgia Pearle Foster, running a wedding venue is like living in a fairy tale.
The Rigby couple are the owners of Loft 745 off County Line Road in Jefferson County. Many people have attended weddings and receptions here over the years, and countless others have seen the sign out front as they’ve driven past it on U.S. Highway 20.
The Foster family has been attached to the Loft for more than a decade, but it’s been around much longer. Josh and Georgia Pearle officially took it over in 2019 and for them, it’s a practical way to let their inner artist shine.
“Putting a wedding together feels very much like putting poetry together, and poetry is what I have my degrees in,” Georgia Pearle tells EastIdahoNews.com. “The whole time I was in school, I was working service industry jobs … so it wasn’t too difficult to dovetail that with the creative side.”
Poetry is Georgia’s first love and her first book of poems will be released in September. Josh is also a writer. His collection of short stories will be released on July 24.
The duo met in Texas, where they both obtained doctorate degrees in writing. They recently launched Foster Literary, a publishing company through which they’re planning to teach writing classes for aspiring authors at their venue on 5 North 3800 East in Jefferson County.
Since acquiring Loft 745 three years ago, Josh and Georgia Pearle have worked to continue running the business his parents established while adding their own artistic flair.
Three different packages are available to customers, and the business now has an online presence where customers can plan and select decor for a wedding at any location.
“We cataloged all of our inventory, and at this point, we have over 200 boxes of silk floral (alone),” says Georgia. “We can now provide a more streamlined service to our clients.”
Loft 745 has what Josh describes as a “secret garden” where clients can gather and mingle for their family events. Beautifying this space has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the job for them, and it’s proven to be an appealing spot for customers as well.
“It feels very much like a book,” Josh says. “Creating a space where people can get lost in beauty, in a life that’s not their own (for one magical day).”
A glimpse of one piece of the garden area at Loft 745. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
And Josh gets a kick out of cleaning up after a particularly raucous crowd.
“On a summer night in Idaho at 1 or 2 in the morning … I like to look at everyone’s trash,” says Josh. “I take pictures of the garbage bag and the lost items we find — a tie in the tree, the flowers and the boutonnieres scattered everywhere.”
Overall, Josh describes eastern Idahoans as “pragmatic partiers.” Georgia hails from the south in Mobile, Alabama, and she says southerners enjoy extravagance and take their parties seriously.
In a post-COVID world, Josh says weddings and parties in eastern Idaho have ended much earlier and become more watered down than usual.
So to see a wild party on occasion is enjoyable for them.
“It’s a joy to see my community come into the space and make it their own,” Josh says.
Some of their most unique celebrations have included quinceañera’s and LGBTQ weddings, the latter of which makes up 10% to 20% of their clients every year.
The venue also hosts business conferences, lunches and work parties.
But regardless of the type of event, what the Fosters enjoy most is working their magic to put a party together that customers adore.
“Seeing them gasp (and say), ‘Oh, it’s beautiful!’ And then to see relief wash over them (to know) that they don’t have to worry about that part of the day (is fun to see),” says Georgia.
“Georgia can put a touch on an arch or a table that makes it feel special in a fresh way,” Josh adds.
The Loft reception center | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
For the Fosters, being able to create magic as authors and entrepreneurs is the ultimate fantasy. Going forward, they’re excited about creating the ultimate fantasy for couples as they begin their life together in eastern Idaho.
“It’s right along the highway and it says Idaho (because of the log buildings),” Josh says of the business. “That’s what we’re trying to give our clientele (with our own magical twist).”
To schedule a tour or learn more, visit the website. You can also call or text Georgia at (208) 523-1977.
Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com
Discount grocery store opening in Idaho Falls
IDAHO FALLS – Grocery Outlet Bargain Market is moving into the 16,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by Big Deal Outlet at 2455 East 25th Street.
It offers a variety of items for customers that are priced 40% to 70% less than similar items at other stores. Many of the items are comparable to what you’d find at any grocery store, including produce, meat and deli items, dairy and frozen foods.
RELATED | Here’s what’s happening to the old Porter’s building in Idaho Falls
Independent owner/operator Douglas Everett tells EastIdahoNews.com there’s a special section in Grocery Outlet called NOSH — Natural Organic Specialty Healthy Foods.
The business is having its grand opening on Thursday, July 14. A ribbon-cutting with the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce will take place at noon.
EastIdahoNews.com is planning to attend and will provide a more in-depth story soon.
Family-owned bar closes after 90 years, reopening under new ownership
FIRTH – A longtime family-owned business in Firth recently closed after 90 years of operation.
Collets Bar at 132 Main Street in Firth was recently sold, and someone familiar with the project tells EastIdahoNews.com in an email that the new owners are working to renovate and restore it.
EastIdahoNews.com is planning to reach out for a full story soon.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Multiple improvement projects underway in Yellowstone National Park
Construction underway on townhome development project in Blackfoot
Hockey rink at Mountain America Center nearing completion