GENESEE – Stomping Grounds is more than just a place to get perfectly poured coffee and mouthwatering, fresh food. It is a safe place for veterans, a local gathering spot, and so much more.
Jessica Smith, owner of Stomping Grounds has a passion for helping the community and making delicious food. She has lived in Genesee for about 10 years and has loved every second. Smith went from worker to owner of the establishment which feels like a second home to her after the old owners announced they were planning to sell.
“I ended up being approached by a few people members of the community that wanted to invest, and now I own it,” Smith said. “It was a huge community effort to help keep the place open.”
The building originally was an old bank dating back to possibly the mid-1800. The original safe is still used to this day as storage for various products. The walls of Stomping Grounds are lined with photos of hometown heroes, military memorabilia, flags, and more.
“[Stomping Grounds] was originally targeted to police and veterans,” Smith said. “They wanted to do something to give back and they were able to use Black Rifle Coffee… We do try and let people know about suicide prevention, we can give people resources. Also, there is always someone here if someone needs it. That is the foundation.”
To the community members, Stomping Ground is a place where they can feel honored, loved, and appreciated. George and Lois, two regulars and veterans from the Potlatch area come down once a week for the great food and even better company. They agreed that their favorite part of Stomping Grounds is Smith herself.
Meanwhile, Smith explained her favorite part of being the owner is simply the community. She told stories of regulars pulling pranks on each other through joyful laughs, and stories of the active duty community members through proud tears.
“I love the way they all joke around with each other,” Smith said. “[One of the regulars] Bill started helping buss dishes and pouring coffee when we are slammed so I made him employee of the month.”
As she is working to grow more into the community, Smith offers discounts to teachers and school staff, police, fire, veterans, and farmers. She is also working on getting more community food and ingredients incorporated into her menu. From fresh homemade sourdough bread that flies off the shelves from a baker in town, and so much more.
Smith has a plethora of plans for the little slice of heaven in Genesee, however, her overall goal is to just keep Stomping Grounds a place with great food and even better company. From bringing back events like ice cream socials, ‘Vet. Checks’, and so much more, Smith wants to help the community come together in any way she can.
To see the historic and loved establishment for yourself, stop by Stomping Grounds at 105 North Fir St. Genesee, Idaho 83832 Tuesday – Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.