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Idaho Falls couple open business so customers can connect over coffee and crafts

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IDAHO FALLS – A local woman celebrates the opening of her new cafe and craft store in Idaho Falls.

Brandi Erickson of Idaho Falls owns AR Workshop and The Nice Spot, two separate businesses located at 395 Lindsay Boulevard.

The AR workshop is a franchise offering a variety of home decor and boutique items and allows clients to enroll in classes to create their own projects. The beautiful place offers guests a place to relax while enjoying a cup of coffee, soft serve ice cream, flavored soda, homemade biscotti, muffins or other snacks.

There is also a section of The Nice Spot that showcases local art and books. Take a look inside in the video player above.

Erickson, a mortgage lender with Idaho Central Credit Union, told EastIdahoNews.com that the two stores are a labor of love involving several members of his family.

“My husband, Michael, is a real estate agent with Voigt Davis. We’ve used what we’ve learned from our current careers to invest in… this business, ”says Erickson.

The Nice Spot employees prepare for the inauguration. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Inspiration for AR Workshop came from enrolling Erickson in many classes during what she calls this lonely time of transition from high school to marriage. She remembers taking many classes during this time that helped her connect with others.

“I always thought of that time when I met people… and talked to them about things and we were from totally different parts of the country. It was 15 years ago. Now I’m in a position where I want to have a space like this for people, ”says Erickson.

The Nice Spot was inspired by a place Erickson and his friends would visit on Taylor Mountain in high school. They used to go there to hang out and have a cup of coffee in front of a fire and they actually called it “the cool place”.

Having extended family members involved in the business allows them to be together as much as possible, which Erickson wanted.

brandi building
The building at 395 Lindsay Boulevard in Idaho Falls. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

The building was once occupied by Terry & Sons Upholstery, which was destroyed in a fire in June 2019.

RELATED | 8 vehicles, including classic cars, among the items destroyed in a flaming explosion

Erickson’s husband told him about the building when it went on sale early last year. She says she didn’t want anything to do with it when she first saw what it looked like.

“It was horrible. There were burnt upholstery and cars in the back all burnt. There was stuff dripping from the ceiling. I mean, it was embarrassing. The place was doomed. and all the windows were boarded up, ”Erickson explains.“ I was like, ‘Absolutely not.’ “

But Michael saw the building’s potential and had a vision for what it could be and convinced his wife to give it a chance. Someone else won the auction when they made the initial bid.

“He (my husband) couldn’t sleep at night. He was pacing back and forth about all the things he could do in this building. He just couldn’t get over it, ”Erickson recalls.

Somehow, thanks to an unforeseen turn of events, they were finally able to purchase the building.

“I really feel like he wanted the building because I don’t know how we got it any other way. It’s one of those things where I feel like it all happened for a reason, ”she says.

After 18 months and many hours of hard work and renovations, Erickson couldn’t be more proud of his investment.

“It’s a space where I feel like people will feel comfortable being here to paint, to be here to have a cup of coffee, have a soda and hang out a bit. The main thing we really wanted to accomplish was to be inviting, ”says Erickson.

Erickson hopes to transform The Nice Spot into a cafe with an expanded menu in the near future. But for now, she’s excited to show off both sides of the business and start serving customers.

She and her husband own an AR workshop. Her mother, Brenda Stanley, her sister-in-law Britney Bair and her mother-in-law Janet Erickson are co-owners of The Nice Spot.

The AR workshop will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday with classes available all day that you can register for in line. The Nice Spot will be open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a closing at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

craft store photo
The interior of the AR workshop. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

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