Over 100 years ago Rotary began as an idea to foster camaraderie between business associates in Chicago. That first meeting of four men has grown into an international organization of over 1.2 million members in over 34 thousand clubs in 196 countries.
“I love being a Rotarian,” said President Rod DeArmond. “It has become a part of who I am. We have a very strong and fun club here in Emmett and do amazing good in the community. We are part of a huge organization and we support and participate in projects that are changing the world.”
The Emmett Rotary Club celebrated their 30 year anniversary this year. One of the club’s charter members, Rotarian Ron Bjorkman, is still an active member in the club.
“Locally we have about 39 members,” said DeArmond. “Rotary is probably most known for the Rotary Youth Auction. This year the Youth Auction gave out funds to over 19 youth groups. It’s such an important support for kids programs and we appreciate every business and individual who donates items for the auction as well as those who come out to buy those items. Rotary is also a big part of Youth Appreciate Day; Cherry Festival Parking; scholarships for high school seniors; Renaissance Fair; Dictionary Project providing dictionaries to all 3rd graders; Relay for Life; Emmett’s Greatest Triathlon; Gem County Fair; and so many other projects.”
The Rotary motto is “Service above Self”. Members are encouraged to practice service in their own communities, their workplace as well as around the world. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. In every club in the world, Rotarians are also asked to adopt the 4-Way Test which is: Of the things we think, say or do, 1) Is it the TRUTH?, 2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?, 3) Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?, and 4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
“I run the 4-Way Test through my mind all the time,” said DeArmond. “It’s an incredible tool in general life. If you look at the words, it can help you make any decision. It doesn’t mean we all live that way all the time, we’re not perfect. It’s just a great reminder and we recite the 4-Way Test at the end of every weekly meeting. In our club, we have a 5th though and that is “Is it FUN?”
Rotary and it’s partners have been instrumental in the fight to eradicate Polio since 1985, immunizing over 2 billion children.
Emmett Rotary Club meets every Thursday at noon at The Pizza Factory.
This year La Costa celebrates 16 years as a premier Emmett eatery. Owners, Jose and Maria German, moved from Hailey, Idaho choosing Emmett as the perfect place to start their entrepreneurial dreams.
“We want to thank the community for a great 16 years,” said Jose. “When we decided to open in Emmett, it was a hard decision to leave Hailey and our friends asked us ‘why Emmett’. It was a great location and we believed that the community would enjoy having a good Mexican restaurant. It was a great decision and we are so grateful to our community and customers who have supported us.”
La Costa is pronounced like “coast-a” and means “the coast”. La Costa now offers dining 7 days a week, two banquet/meeting rooms (one for up to 40 people, one holds 90 people), outdoor patio dining, a mobile ‘taco wagon’, ceramics shop and catering.
“We have to keep adding something new,” said Jose. “When I see customers enjoy themselves, I know we have done a good job. My goal is to give respect to the customer by offering quality food, quality service and surprise them with something different. We never want to finish it. When I keep doing the same thing or think about being finished, I’m backing up. It’s important to keep trying, changing and doing your best every day.”
Jose did not go to college or study to become a great entrepreneur. According to Jose, being successful is about having a heart for service and hard work.
“Since I was very little I sold stuff in the streets of Mexico,” said Jose. “I want my family to know how thankful I am for their hard work to make our family business successful. We work hard and put money back into the business to make it better. We now have opened a second restaurant in Hailey.”
Jose and Maria have been very supportive and generous community supporters, giving back to the community that has supported them.
“Our family believes in giving back,” said Jose. “We have many plaques on our wall. For instance, we support Relay for Life. We really support what they do 100%. The first three years was tough for us. We worked to build trust with the community. After that third year until now it has been really great. Business goes up and down but we have always had the community and come through. We invite you to come see us and enjoy our atmosphere and food. Or you can come visit us at Cherry Festival for a traditional taco.”
La Costa is located at 517 N Washington Ave; 365-1567 for take-out or banquet room reservations. Open 7-days per week, 11am – 9:30 pm.
For Garnette Edwards, owner of Gem Butte Greenhouses, business is blooming. Edwards is the 3rd generation to own Edwards Greenhouses in Boise. They purchased the Emmett location in 2003.
“We started Edwards Greenhouse in Boise in 1930,” said Edwards. “I’m now training the 4th generation, my daughter Erin Monnie, to eventually take over. When we bought Gem Butte from Griders, it was a lot like coming home for me. As a young girl I spent many good times in Emmett with my Aunt Irene and Uncle Bob Carpenter. They owned Edgemont Greenhouse back then. On a Friday afternoon I’d ride the bus from Boise to Emmett. I loved coming to Emmett, it was a great place to spend time as a child. I loved that first view of the valley and all the colors exploding from the top of Freezeout Hill. The Butte looks like a diamond from up there with the snow capping it. My aunt and uncle’s son, John, has been a renowned florist in Boise for many years and works for us as our florist.”
Gem Butte Greenhouses is located on 20 acres offering retail sales from April to the end of June.
“We are landlocked in Boise as far as growing is concerned,” said Edwards. “When the Griders put the business up for sale, it was perfect for us. As a company, we grow about 80% of our annuals and 50% of our perennials. Emmett has great water, great soil and the temperature is usually just a few degrees cooler than Boise. The plants we grow in Emmet are spectacular. We grow about 80% of our stock sold in Boise in Emmett.”
Edwards Greenhouse in Boise has a retail store open year round, florist, classes and landscapes for commercial clients all over SW Idaho installing and maintaining flowers and plants.
“At Gem Butte Greenhouses we carry a large range of items and many flowers to put into your own patio containers,” said Edwards. “If there is something you want but don’t see, we can usually offer a 24 hour turnaround to get it in for you from Boise. We have a lot of unusual and different perennials grown as much locally as we can.”
A visit to the website www.EdwardsGreenhouse.com details the many products and services offered as well as a glimpse of their history.
“This is truly a family endeavor,” said Edwards. “My father used to tell me, ‘Garnette, we sell legal pleasure’ and he was so right. My mother (Josephine (Thornton) Edwards) is 91 years old and still comes to the garden center every day.”
Gem Butte Greenhouses is located at 2424 W. Idaho Blvd, 365-2834. www.EdwardsGreenhouse.com.