Two new coffee shops opening in Shelley

SHELLEY — Two new coffee shops are opening in town, and while that may seem like more than this small city needs, the only thing these two shops have in common is they both serve coffee.

The Corner Cup, owned by Jessica Southworth, opened last week on the corner of W Pine St. and S State St. The Rustic Rock Coffee stand, owned by Heidi Kennedy, is opening on Monday, Oct. 11, in the Expressions Vinyl parking lot on the north end of S State Street.

With its cozy atmosphere and small seating area, The Corner Cup is for those who want to sit and have a nice cup of coffee and maybe a snack with a couple of friends. 

On the other hand, Rustic Rock Coffee is a drive-through coffee stand for the commuter on the go. Seated on the north end of S State Street, it is perfect for those headed to or from Idaho Falls in need of a quick energizing boost.

As different as the two shops are, the owners all have something in common, a mutual love for coffee.

The Corner Cup

Jessica Southworth inside The Corner Cup | Mike Price, Community Pioneer

“In high school, I wanted to be a chef. I had enrolled in a culinary arts program in Denver and everything. Life happened and I didn’t go. I’ve always wanted to have a little restaurant with my family recipes. I was kind of a coffee snob but never worked as a barista. I took a coffee shop owner’s class and my ex-husband and his wife have been helping me learn techniques,” The Corner Cup owner Jessica Southworth told Community Pioneer.

Originally from Ashton, Idaho, Southworth moved to Shelley around eight years ago. She said she’s always thought that Shelley needed its own coffee shop. 

She explained that her parents own the property The Corner Cup is located on. Southworth said that after multiple rental agreements fell through, her parents encouraged her to rent the space and open a coffee shop.

“The community has been pushing pretty hard for a coffee shop. When I first decided to do this, I started asking people what they want and I was overwhelmed,” Southworth said.

She said she wants The Corner Cup to be a place where locals can come sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. She even has thoughts of featuring live music on occasion.

She also hopes her coffee shop will give her the chance to get to know the community better. She explained that she lives with chronic pain, and because of that, she hasn’t been able to get out as much as she would have liked.

“I’m not very familiar with the people in the community yet. And with everything growing, I think it would be a good place to come meet people,” Southworth said.

The Corner Cup’s current menu features coffee, Italian sodas, hot chocolate, steamers, grab-and-go snacks and fruit. 

“We sell smoothies and a mushroom coffee blend,” Southworth said.

Current hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will open at 8 a.m. on Saturdays.

“I’d love it if they’d take their drink and then walk around town,” Southworth said.

Follow The Corner Cup on Facebook.

Rustic Rock Coffee

Michelle Allen (Left) and Heidi Kennedy (Right) outside the Rustic Rock Coffee stand | Mike Price, Community Pioneer

Heidi Kennedy is a single mom with a dream of opening her own coffee stand. To help her realize that dream, Kennedy’s friend Michelle Allen agreed to help by assisting Kennedy to get the stand ready to open and by offering her business knowledge she gained through a business degree from the College of Eastern Idaho. Kennedy is from Idaho Falls and Allen is from Shelley. Kennedy has years of experience working in coffee as a teen through her 20s in Seattle, Washington. Kennedy is also working on her business degree at CEI.

“Every time I drove through Shelley, I would always want a coffee. And I was like ‘I have to drive all the way back into town to get one. This place needs a coffee stand,” Kennedy said.

Allen said she was tired have having to go all the way into Idaho Falls any time she wanted coffee.

“This is so much better. Everybody going to and from work can stop here,” Allen said.

When Kennedy decided she wanted to open a coffee stand in Shelley, she first approached Food Plaza/Hard Times gas station to find out if their stand that used to sell Reed’s Dairy ice cream was for sale. Finding out that it was available, she bought it and approached Expressions Vinyl to ask about placing a coffee stand in their parking lot.

“I got a hold of Carl, who owns Expressions Vinyl, and he was actually really excited,” Kennedy said. “I said, ‘I want to start something new. I’m a single mom who just has a dream. And I’ve been going to business school and this is my dream. I need to make it happen.'”

Over the last few months, Kennedy and Allen have been working hard to get the stand ready to open. Now they feel they almost have everything in place and plan to open on Monday, Oct. 11.

“We’re going to do all kinds of coffee drinks, but lots of non-coffee drinks as well. We’re going to do hot chocolates, Italian sodas, smoothies. We’re going to have lattes,” Kennedy said. “We’re even going to have Red Bull. Fun flavors like caramel apple Red Bull. And we’re going to do frappuccinos.”

Rustic Rock Coffee’s hours of operation are currently set for 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. However, those hours could change as they figure out what works best for their clientele. They also have plans to be open late on Shelley High School game nights.

“We’re going to make sure that we’re here for everybody when they need their coffee,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy and Allen are looking to hire someone as a part-time barista. That job listing can be found on the Rustic Rock Coffee Facebook page.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article implied that Michelle Allen was Heidi Kennedy’s business partner in opening Rustic Rock Coffee. This article has been updated to reflect that Allen is simply Kennedy’s friend and agreed to help Kennedy with the Rustic Rock Coffee Stand.

Mike Price

Mike Price is an award winning journalist from Shelley. He is now one of the founding members and Editor-in-Chief of the Community Pioneer.

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