Kevin and Angel Moran might look a little glazed these days. Though the duo started Guru Donuts in February as a series of spontaneous Saturday speakeasies, slinging sugary confections out of their North End home, the business has now grown into a full-time operation. In addition to Guru's busy booth at the Boise Farmer's Market, the donut upstart has snagged a downtown kitchen space, where it'll be cranking out wholesale orders.
"We're just doing a wholesale kitchen not a retail store," explained Angel. "We're going to be basically seven days a week, which is daunting for us, but we'll be doing wholesale to The Crux and to the Co-op to start and probably extend that out until we get our retail [space]."
Guru is taking over the former Twig's Cellar spot in the basement of the Garro Building at 816 Bannock St. Eventually, the pair hopes to open a street-level retail storefront upstairs, where folks can swing in and grab donuts on the go.
"We're taking it step by step, and then we're growing into each phase as we pass through it--quickly--but it's still happening pretty slow to some people's standards," said Angel. "They want to walk in and get donuts everyday but ... we want to make sure we do it right."
Guru Donuts is hosting an open house First Thursday, Sept. 5, from 5-9 p.m. so fans can come check out their new digs.
"Everybody from the community can come see where we are because it is hidden; it's a little underground donut shop operation," said Angel.
For more info, visit gurudonuts.com.
In Garden City, another empty space is now buzzing with the energy from three upstart operations.
Innerbrew Farms, Amagi Brewing and the Idaho Indoor Farmer's Market have collectively taken over the 17,000-square-foot area to the left of the Revolution Concert House at Glenwood Street and Chinden Boulevard.
The Idaho Indoor Farmer's Market, which hosted its soft opening Aug. 30, is a year-round market offering produce from a handful of small-scale Garden City growers.
"Well, we're just trying to start a grassroots business with some local Garden City producers," said owner Jackson Bricker. "I've contracted with some greenhouses in Garden Valley to be able to do local veggies in the winter ... so we can be open all year long."
Though the market will be modest to start, with plans to sell veggies Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Bricker hopes to grow the operation.
"I really want it to be a huge market; obviously, we're starting out small because that's just how it has to work and there were a lot of things I just didn't understand about farmers," said Bricker. "It's been a little bit more difficult than what I had initially planned, but it's working out now; it's all coming together."
Bricker continued: "Really, our big thing is if we have veggies left over, we're going to donate. I want it to be a grassroots kind of thing; I want it to have a community feel to the whole thing. We want to teach people about farming and why they should raise their own food, and why when they can't raise that food, they should buy locally."
Sharing space with the Idaho Indoor Farmers Market are two other ventures: Innerbrew Farms and Amagi Brewing Company, both run by Joshua Paulson.
"I've been home brewing for about four years now; basically, I like having full control of my product; that's why the farm came into play," said Paulson.
"I was planning to just be a brewery initially, but then I decided I wanted to grow any sort of ingredient to throw into the beer," he added. "I'm putting in indoor hops right now and a few different peppers--all sorts of plants that can go into beer, different herbs."
Though Paulson won't have his 10-barrel brewery up and running for another six to nine months, the spent grain from his home-brewing setup will soon be incorporated into Innerbrew Farms, his indoor farm, vermiculture and aquaculture operation.
"Basically, I'm taking brewery grain, I'm processing it into fish feed and I'm also using it for cultivating oyster mushrooms and then I'm also raising escargot snails--one of their favorite foods is grain. And we're also doing a composting worm farm," explained Paulson.
Paulson says he will be raising 400-500 yellow perch to start in a 750-gallon tank, which will, in turn, lend nutrients to his sealed, CO2-supplemented 120-square-foot greenhouse. This practice is referred to as aquaponics.
"You feed the fish, the water from the fish tank gets all mucked up from the fish waste, that water gets plumbed into the greenhouse and basically, the plants filter out what the fish put into it ... they convert them to nutrients, and at the end of the route, the water returns back to the fish tank clean," said Paulson. "So it's highly drought-tolerant method of growing. From what I understand, it should only evaporate five gallons of water a week."
Paulson hopes to have Innerbrew Farms fully operational within about eight weeks, though he won't have any oyster mushrooms ready for purchase for another two months. The yellow perch will take a year to reach maturity while the snails will take between nine months and 12 months to grow to their full size. He said he plans to feed the snails to the fish if the population gets out of control, and he'll offer his veggies next door at the Idaho Indoor Farmers Market.
For more information on the Idaho Indoor Farmer's Market, visit facebook.com/IdahoIndoorFarmersMarket. For more on Innerbrew Farms, check out facebook.com/Innerbrew. And for updates on Amagi Brewing Company, visit facebook.com/amagibrewing.