Food drive at Bronco Motors, other locations Thursday until 7 p.m.

The annual Drive, Drop and Donate food drive benefits The Idaho Foodbank. It's a partnership between several community members including Bronco Motors, KBOI television and RC Willey. Drop off non-perishable items at locations around the Treasure Valley until 7 p.m. Thursday.

Visit www.idahofoodbank.org/?page=drive-drop-donate for locations and more info.

Scenes from the Nordstrom Rack opening day

Joe Jaszewski took some brilliant photos of the morning crowds at Nordstrom Rack.

Here are a couple of my favorites. But you'll definitely want to check out our photo gallery.

Spotted in this photo: a man who arrived early to shop for his wife who couldn't make it, and a woman who took the day off work and "dragged" her daughter along.

In this photo, Kristen Gardner, winner of a 90-second, $2,000 shopping spree, runs barefoot through the Rack and loads up her cart. Gardner wasn't wearing athletic shoes Thursday morning, when she found out she won the spree. She and a friend got running shoes at the starting line, but Gardner decided to go barefoot anyway.

Nordstrom Rack drew more than 1,000 shoppers in the first 30 minutes

Want to see photos? Visit our photo gallery.

People lined up around the building to get into Idaho's first Nordstrom Rack. An estimated 1,300 people showed up for the opening by the time doors opened at 9 a.m.

Nordstrom Rack opening line

Some — like three Canyon County shoppers who carpooled to Nordstrom Rack near midnight Wednesday and camped out all night — raced through the store searching for gold hangers worth $100. BreAnn Downs, 21, of Nampa, found five of the 20 hangers. She handed out four of them to friends, but kept one for herself.

BreAnn Downs

"It was very worth it" to spend the night outside for the first spot in line, she said.

Annual tax-day sale is Sunday at Boise Co-op Wine Shop

The Boise Co-op Wine Shop at 915 N. 8th St. is taking 15 percent off purchases of six or more bottles this Sunday, in honor of the most procrastinated-on event of the year. They're also sampling wine 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Also upcoming:

  • Wine tasting at the shop: Friday, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m., with two whites and three reds from Washington.
  • Tips on building a wine cellar on an everyday budget at The WineKeeper, 850 Fulton St. in Downtown Boise. Featuring the Wine Shop's Leil Cardoza and WineKeeper co-owner Brett Goldberg. Complimentary wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres, too, but RSVP required. Call 433-9345.

The women behind new Boise garden shops: Leaf Greenhouse

Leaf Greenhouse and Madeline George Garden Design Nursery are both opening this month in Boise. Both are women-run businesses with unique twists.

Leaf Greenhouse owner Janet Angleton is a mother of four — two are in high school, two already moved away for college — and a garden enthusiast. She spent last spring working at the former Kearns Greenhouses to make sure it was a fit. "Mrs. Kearns has been a great mentor," she said.

Leaf Greenhouse Janet Angleton

Angleton wants to keep true to the Kearns Greenhouses owners' tradition by offering thousands of healthy geraniums.

Leaf Greenhouse geraniums

She's done lots of hands-on work (with help from family and friends), including fresh paint and a new fountain made with a lion's head from Italy that Angleton had in her basement and stone from Boise.

Leaf Greenhouse fountain

Now she's putting finishing touches on the place, which she named partly for her late mother, whose Finnish maiden name translates to "leaf."

"This was a perfect time for me" to jump into the business, she said.

Visit the Leaf Greenhouse Facebook page for more info.

More on the Brewforia expansion

I wrote Tuesday night about Brewforia branching out to Eagle from its Meridian base this summer — and soon unveiling a U.S.-wide franchise program.

But here's something from the owner himself with more tidbits.

Nordstrom Rack sneak peek

Statesman reporter Dana Oland, photographer Katherine Jones and I got a preview of the Nordstrom Rack in Boise Tuesday afternoon. (Check out our photo gallery of the tour.)

The store is catering to Boise: lots of active wear, denim and hundreds of pieces of men's and women's Bronco wear. They'll even have Bronco kids' flip-flops. But it also holds true to the overall Nordstrom Rack strategy — clothes, shoes, accessories and other products that are specially created for the Rack or brought in from a Nordstrom store or Nordstrom.com.

Employees — here, Sam Conway in the juniors department — were putting finishing touches on the store Tuesday afternoon.

Nordstrom Rack juniors

The store is giving away bags to the first 1,000 shoppers Thursday. (Pictured with Jill Sprinkle, who works in customer service.)

Nordstrom Rack bags

We'll have more details at IdahoStatesman.com and in the daily newspaper this week. But for now, a few quick numbers on what you'll find:

  • Tens of thousands of shoes
  • More than 2,000 men's ties
  • More than 1,000 handbags
  • 50 full-time employees
  • 70 total employees, all from the Treasure Valley
  • 30 percent to 70 percent off Nordstrom prices
  • 37,000 square feet of shopping space
  • 19 traditional cash registers
  • 20 mobile registers (employees in green t-shirts who can do checkouts on the floor)

I'll be updating this blog Thursday with news and photos from opening day.

Here's what you can find at the Buy Idaho Sunday market

Buy Idaho will be hosting its first-ever Sunday market this weekend at the Linen Building in Downtown Boise. That's 1402 W. Grove St.

It runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and I hear shoppers should bring cash and checks, in case vendors don't take plastic. You can also check out the event's Facebook page.

If it's a success, Buy Idaho will do another Sunday market in September.

Here's an early list of Buy Idaho merchants selling this Sunday:

  • Weiser Candy Co.
  • Huston Vineyards
  • Bitner Vineyards
  • Idaho Glow Soy Candles
  • Outlaw Coffee Roasters
  • Steph’s Seriously Good Salsa
  • My Family Traditions BBQ Sauce
  • Dorothy Tobin Jewelry
  • Andra Jade Jewelry
  • Art Hale Photography
  • Flickering Scents Candles
  • Eclectic Playground Clothing
  • Silver Creek Mint
  • Ricki’s Fancy Creations
  • Life Flight Network
  • Aloette Cosmetics
  • Array of Color Gifts
  • Wild Stallion Gifts
  • Idaho Magazine

Buy Idaho will have a booth, too.

Greenwood's Ski Haus makes a Boise ski bunny

For its Easter-themed window display, Greenwood's Ski Haus on Bogus Basin Road didn't skimp on creativity. Employees put a human-sized Easter bunny in skis, with a helmet and Easter basket.

A friend told me about this display — passing it at night, he was surprised by a giant, illuminated Easter Bunny — and urged me to check it out before it disappeared. It's still there as of today.

Greenwood's Ski Haus

As the temps rise, Greenwood's is getting ready to close for the season. The store is having a house-cleaning sale right now, up to 50 percent off some items including skis, boots, bags, gloves and ski wear. It will be open through April 21, and might stay open another week if Brundage Mountain Resort in McCall does additional bonus weekends, according to Greenwood's co-owner Carrie Gochnour.

McDonald's giving away breakfast to ISAT students Monday

McDonald's in the Treasure Valley, Mountain Home and Weiser will give free breakfasts Monday to students taking the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT).

Students who visit participating McDonald's restaurants April 9 from 6 to 8:30 a.m. can get a breakfast including an Egg McMuffin, apple slices and milk.

Fine print: The offer is valid only for in-store meals, not drive-through orders. Students under age 15 will need to be accompanied by a parent. Offer good while supplies last.

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