‘I think it’ll go nuts’: Boise ice cream shop to open where chain closed after 25+ years
Baskin-Robbins has been a dessert oasis on State Street for as long as many Boiseans remember.
Mentions go back to 1998 in Idaho Statesman archives. So a quarter-century, at least?
But motorists passing by might think they’re suffering a brain freeze. Baskin-Robbins recently closed at 4740 W. State St. (Locations remain in Meridian and Nampa.) If for no other reason than familiarity, the multinational chain’s only Boise store will be missed.
But probably not that much.
Stella’s Ice Cream, a growing Idaho brand, will take over the abandoned spot at Collister Shopping Center. Stella’s franchisee Travis Richey plans to open the reinvented space Feb. 15.
Baskin-Robbins’ demise does not cast a shadow on the standalone building, Richey says. It probably would have continued selling scoops and cakes if not for improvements that were required by the agreement between the company and its franchisee, according to Richey. “The capital contributions were just gigantic,” he says.
He thinks the new Stella’s has “tons of potential,” thanks to growth in the area. “It’s a high-traffic street,” Richey adds.
Another big plus? Stella’s will offer delivery through all of the major third-party services. That should drive orders from both nearby residential and business customers. “You could do four cookies and two pints,” Richey suggests. “Or four brownies and two pints. I think it’ll go nuts.”
Stella’s has cloned itself steadily since launching in 2018. The first one opened in Nampa, followed by an Eagle store in 2019, downtown Boise in 2020, Caldwell in 2021 and Twin Falls in 2023.
Stella’s isn’t trendy. “Ours is pure, old-fashioned American ice cream,” Stella’s company co-owner Chad Hartley told the Statesman three years ago. There aren’t alcohol-infused flavors or beer pairings. You won’t see orders chopped on a frozen granite stone.
But Stella’s can get a little wild. Instead of a traditional cup or cone of frozen goodness, you can order ice cream crammed into a waffle taco shell, if you’d like.
Stella’s treats are made in-house with the exception of the Bismarck doughnuts used to create Donut Humps. Originally named Humps because they were sold on Wednesdays, aka “hump day,” Humps now also are served on Saturdays. Sort of like a frozen-treat burger, Humps include a halved doughnut for a bun and a massive blob of ice cream for a patty.
Would you prefer your ice cream mashed between two chocolate-chip cookie monstrosities instead? Stella’s also bakes cookies daily.
In addition to the new Boise location, Richey plans to open a Stella’s franchise shop in Meridian this spring at The Shops at Pine 43, followed by one in Kuna about a year from now.
Like Baskin-Robbins before it, Stella’s on State will be a modest space. It’s only about 1,000 square feet, with three tables, 12 seats and three barstools, Richey said. There’s also a bit of outdoor seating, if you want to listen to traffic.
Either way, Boiseans who enjoy quality, creamy, local ice cream should be excited.
Maybe even as stoked as the guy opening the place.
“I think it will be a great location,” Richey says.
▪ Stella’s will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Online: stellasicecream.com.