Love at First Bite. Don't you just adore that name? You just know that whatever is inside, it must be positively scrumptious! This adorable little shop is the brain child of Juli Richards, and is truly one of a kind within our region. You might not guess it from the name, but within the extra large glass doors lie goodies for the eyes and tummy! Cupcakes, chocolates, pretzels, caramel apples, gourmet cheeses, handmade cookies, home decor, baby clothes...the list goes on and on!! This store is filled from wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with eclectic items you won't find anywhere else. Juli has been gifted with the talent of spotting high quality products sure to please. She frequently travels to markets & fairs, and brings home items that are hard or difficult to find. People travel from Utah and Wyoming just for her shop!
Located at 901 Pier View Drive in Idaho Falls, most people know Love at First Bite for their cupcakes piled high with frosting. But did you know they carry an extensive selection of Balsamic vinegars, Olive oils, home decor, baby trinkets, gag gifts, retro games, and classic candy? True story! The entire South wing of the shop is devoted to the cooking enthusiast. Locally made gourmet cheeses, an Italian ingredients section where everything is brought over from Italy, seasoning spices, bake ware, cookware.....gracious. We could be here all day listing off items just from that section!
Love At First Bite also offers a vast selection of gluten free items, something that can be quite difficult to find. Even their Balsamic vinegars are gluten free!
Let's spend a moment on the delightful oil/vinegar section. When the shop expanded, one of the first things Juli did was ponder what would make for an excellent pairing with their sweets. Juli and her daughter had taken an interest in recipe and cooking exploration, so specialty cooking items were a no-brainer! We've all seen regular Balsamic vinegar and Olive oil at the grocery store, but did you know there's an entirely different class of Balsamic vinegars and Olive oils? Enter Love at First Bite. Juli has searched the world over to find unique, aromatic Balsamic vinegars and olive oils. For instance, did you know there's such a thing as white Balsamic vinegar? And to take it a step further, FLAVORED Balsamic vinegar? Juli carefully selects roughly 18 high quality Balsamic vinegars (imported from Italy no less!) to be in continuous supply inside the shop. Lavendar, black cherry, maple, cranberry pear, jalapeno, coconut....the list goes on. All of these delightful flavors available for your tasting and cooking pleasure.
The Olive oils are hand picked with the same extensive care as the Balsamic vinegars. Inside the shop, there is one row of Olive oils that switches out seasonally, and comes from various parts of the world. All the oils may be from the Southern Hemisphere, or another time they may all be from Africa. One thing is for certain, there will always be an Olive oil within the shop's doors that will fit your palette! Have you ever tried making an omlette with Cayenne Olive oil? Or what about using butter infused Olive oil instead of straight butter? The Olive oils carried by Juli's shop are not only tasty, but quite useful too! Below each oil or vinegar canister, you will find stacks of recipe cards chock full of suggestions on how to use your goodies. Here's a fun little trivia tidbit for you: All the recipes on the cards were created by Juli's daughter while experimenting with the ingredients stocked in Love At First Bite. LAFB (as it's lovingly called to regulars) also carries those hard to find specialty oils. Black Truffle Oil, Dark Toasted Sesame Oil, Roasted Almond Oil, Walnut Oil, and so many more!
And of course, a trip to Love at First Bite wouldn't be complete without a taste of their drool-inspiring chocolate treats. In 2006 Juli took an interest in creating high quality chocolates, and opened her chocolate company (Chocolate Box Creations). Juli even had a commercial grade kitchen installed into her home so that she could experiment with chocolate delights any time she pleased. This love of chocolate treats gradually became Love At First Bite. Some of their most popular treats are the chocolates created by Juli! All the truffles are handmade and created by Juli, other chocolate treats are provided by local companies, or brought in from Europe. (Seriously, there's a whole area dedicated to European chocolate!!) Fudge is handmade in the shop, as are the caramel apples, chocolate dipped pretzels, gourmet cookies, and their infamous cupcakes. Drool.
Juli never ceases to bring clever and unique items to the store. Across the store from the cooking section lies the home decor/fun gadgets section. You may want to set aside some serious time to peruse through this section of the store, as every nook is bursting with treats. Baby gear, candles, spa treatments, lavatory mists, vases...it's ALL here! Be sure to keep a close eye out for the clever little trinkets scattered throughout this area. Breath spray that will let you talk to your cat, gum to lend you the necessary Irish accent for St. Patrick's day, lavish body soap. You'll forever be the favorite gift giver in your circle of friends.
Adorable baby gear? Got it. Retro toys & games? Yup. Classic candy? Have that too! Seasonal decor? Oh yeah. Love one of a kind items? This. Is. Your. Shop. Recently Juli paired with a flower shop in Ammon called Petal Passion, so now you can even get fresh floral bouquets inside the shop!
All Photos Courtesy of Olivia Hicks Photo. www.oliviahicksphoto.com
People all over Idaho Falls have continually flocked to Love At First Bite for a number of reasons. From their unique gift selections, to their welcoming atmosphere, people are always finding a reason to come in.
As a special thank you for reading this spotlight, The Mike Hicks Realty Group and Love At First Bite have paired up to bring you a special coupon! Read the original blog post HERE to save and print it! Thanks to The Mike Hicks Realty Group for supporting our small business!
Original post by Mike Hicks here.