Sheena and Jason Jeffries didn’t always want to be entrepreneurs, but one day they got restless.
Two years ago, the couple decided to quit their jobs—Sheena as a bartender and Jason in construction—and leave their lifelong home of Gaston, Oregon (population 600) to move to Caldwell, Idaho, and start anew. They had no roots in Idaho—no family, no friends, no job prospects; They just wanted a change. “We were in a rut,” Jason says, “and wanted to do something different.”
New Home, New Opportunity
After they moved, they began looking for work, but they didn’t simply want to go back to what they’d been doing in Oregon. What was the point in trying to change your life if you were just going to keep doing what you’d always done? They also realized that, no matter what they did, they likely wouldn’t earn as much as they had back home since wages in Idaho were generally much lower than in Oregon.
They decided to take this opportunity to try something entirely new: open a frozen yogurt shop.
“I had a friend in Oregon who owned a shop, and I always remember thinking it was really cute,” Sheena says. “So we thought why not start one ourselves?”
Learning the Business
Despite never starting or owning a business before, the couple spent the next eight months throwing themselves body and soul into the endeavor. On April 22, 2019, the couple opened the doors to The Good Spoon, which is located in a hundred-year-old former bakery off Indian Creek Plaza in downtown Caldwell. The location affords them a lot of foot traffic thanks to other area businesses and events hosted in the plaza itself—including outdoor movie nights in the summer and an ice-skating rink and light show in the winter. “The response has been even better than we expected it to be,” Jason says. “We’ve been really busy since we opened.”
“Everything seemed to just fall into place in a weird way,” Sheena says. “Things just worked out.”
Even though the process of starting the business has been smooth, it hasn’t been easy. As first-time business owners, the Jeffries had to figure the entire process out from scratch—from permits to accounting and everything in between. Luckily, they’ve had a lot of help along the way. Sheena’s friend in the froyo business gave them insight into how to run a shop and advice on how to get started, and the couple received referrals from other people in the industry about possible partners and vendors. One of those referrals came from Doug Burch, a VP at M9 Creations, which specializes in point-of-sale software for frozen-yogurt and coffee shops. He recommended Gravity Payments as a payments processor and put him in touch with sales rep Jared Spears. “I’d talked to other processing companies who had all these complicated tiers and fees,” Jason says. “But Jared laid it all out for me and kept it super simple and explained exactly what I would pay. As a new business owner, that meant a lot to me.”
Customers and Community
The Caldwell community has also stepped up to support the newcomers. On a Thursday afternoon in late June, a local off-duty police officer stopped by with his teenage son. He and Jason exchanged hellos and discussed recent goings-on in the area while the officer’s son made himself a tasty treat. “My son just can’t get enough of this stuff,” the officer said. A little while later, an older couple came in and told Sheena they’d been referred by the owners of a restaurant in nearby Nampa. “We’ve made it to Nampa!” Jason said.
But the Jeffries’ biggest source of support has been each other. “We’re best friends,” Jason says. “We get along so well and just love working together, which is great since we’re together all the time.” The two handled the vast majority of the work setting up the business, including much of the construction and design. Sheena’s dad, who restores classic cars as a hobby, lent them several grills, which now adorn the walls of the shop. Sheena also hired a custom printer to create a large decal of one her dad’s restored Cadillacs to give the space even more of a retro feel. Most of the furniture was either built by Jason or sourced at auctions by Sheena. “We were on a budget,” Sheena said, discussing how she hunted for bargains in the area and consulted with Jason on what to buy. “And if we went over that budget, we were done.”
The Good Spoon is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am-11pm, and right now Sheena and Jason are the only employees. “We often eat froyo for dinner,” Sheena says. “We don’t usually leave here until one or two in the morning.”
Despite the hard work and long hours, joy radiates from Sheena and Jason faces as they talk about opening and running the shop together. “We love it,” Jason says. “We couldn’t be happier.”
The Good Spoon
714 Main St.
Caldwell, ID 83605
More info: www.facebook.com/thegoodspoonfrozenyogurt