Do you want to know what’s going on in the East Idaho business scene? We’re protecting you. Here’s a summary of this week’s business news across the valley.
Coffee company aims to help recovering addicts and give back to the community
IDAHO FALLS – At first glance, Zachariah Monson and his two business partners, Tim Olsen and Zack Mahan, are a rough-looking bunch. But appearances can be deceiving.
The trio have been addicted to drugs for a long time and have since changed their lives through rehabilitation and recovery programs.
Earlier this year, they teamed up to form Grave Robbers Coffee, an online company that brews and distributes fresh coffee beans to customers. Coffee beans are purchased from locations around the world and are roasted locally.
Despite being only a few months old, the business really took off. Monson told EastIdahoNews.com that they’ve acquired a nationwide customer base and a handful of businesses across eastern Idaho sell their coffee at the store. Among them is The Egyptian in downtown Idaho Falls.
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“The amount of support we get is insane,” says Monson.
The company also makes its coffee available to America Health Urgent Care, The Center for Hope and other places that deal with people struggling with addiction.
The idea for Grave Robbers Coffee was inspired by an experience Monson and his partners had in common while attending addiction recovery meetings.
“It’s kind of a saying that these recovery meetings have bad coffee. One of our goals is to put good coffee at these meetings,” says Mahan.
As Monson and his partners look back on their journey to recovery, they say coffee was a valuable tool for connecting with people, which is an important step in overcoming an addiction.
“The opposite of addiction is connection,” says Olsen. “If you sit down and have a cup of coffee, you will talk. Getting these people to speak up and unload their burden (is critical).”
Olsen says drinking coffee also releases endorphins in the brain, which is a good substitute for the endorphin cravings that come from getting high on drugs.
As the name suggests, the company’s mission is to ‘robbing the grave’ of future addiction-related deaths by ‘connecting with others through coffee’. Monson and his partners achieve this by raising awareness and funding for addiction recovery and mental health resources.
Grave Robbers hosted an event at Tautphaus Park over the weekend that raised over $1,500 for The Center for Hope. A similar fundraising event will take place on August 20th at Freeman Park from noon to 6pm.
And for customers who make a purchase on Grave Robbers, a portion of the profits goes to organizations that offer these services.
Monson and his team are grateful to those who gave them a chance as they worked to become contributors to the workforce and society again.
They are turning an old school bus into a cafe, which they hope will be completed in August. They would like to expand this business model to other communities as well.
“Ultimately, we want to break the stigma of addiction and show the community around us and society at large that addicts are people with mental health issues… and it’s something that (can be overcome),” says Monson.
Moving company offering free 30-day self-storage for those affected by the Yellowstone floods
IDAHO FALLS – The U-Haul Companies of Montana and Idaho are offering 30 days of free self-storage and use of U-Box containers at two facilities near Yellowstone National Park to help people affected by extreme flooding in the area.
About 10,000 people were evacuated from the park, and many nearby homes suffered water damage. The flood was caused by a combination of heavy rain and melting snow, causing historic levels in the Yellowstone River and very dangerous conditions throughout the area.
Customers who need cardboard boxes can use the Take a Box, Leave a Box program in the store. U-Haul offers an area where customers can leave used crates in good condition, and others can access the crates free of charge. U-Haul encourages anyone who has reusable boxes to drop them off at the nearest U-Haul store for this purpose.
People looking for more information about the U-Haul disaster relief program or who need to organize 30 days of free self-storage should contact U-Haul Moving & Storage at 1091 Northgate Mile in Idaho Falls. The number is (208) 524-3585.
Local energy company re-elects 3 board members
ASHTON – Nearly 700 proprietary members of the Fall River Electric Cooperative showed up in person at Teton High School in Driggs on Saturday to attend the cooperative’s annual energy expo and business meeting.
In recent weeks, the owner-partners have also voted for six candidates seeking three seats on the cooperative’s board of directors. Voting was conducted online as well as by mail, as well as in person at the Driggs event.
The incumbents Anna Lindstedt of District 4, East Driggs; Jodi Stiehl from the southern area of Island Park, which is District 7; and Doug Schmier of District 9 in West Yellowstone were all re-elected to new three-year terms starting this month.
Schmier ran unopposed with a total of 2,038 votes. Lindstedt, who won 1,403 votes, had two opponents running against her. Stiehl beat his opponent with 1,494 votes.
IN CASE YOU LOST…
Mass Cancellations Caused by Yellowstone Floods Cause Concern in Island Park
Local trailer parks seeing increase in calls after Yellowstone floods
Beehive Credit Union Announces Annual Picnic
Simply Mac store in eastern Idaho unexpectedly closes after company files for bankruptcy
Melaleuca announces new CEO while VanderSloot is appointed to a different role