BOISE, IDAHO — While marijuana is still illegal in Idaho, CBD products are not, and one North End cafe just starting offering coffee drinks and other refreshments...with a side of relaxation.
Cynthia Sauer and Shelby Swanstrom are a mother-daughter business team that recently became the owners of a popular cafe in Boise's North End. Their background, however, isn't what you might expect. They previously worked with adults with developmental disabilities.
"We were able to see our clients come in and we really got to understand what they're disability was and what they're handicaps were and we just fell in love with the world and fell in love with being an advocate for that clientele," said Hyde House Co-Owner Shelby Swanstrom.
But it wasn't just the people they met through their former profession that sparked their passion to help. Through their time working with those with disabilities, they discovered the positive impacts of CBD, a product that has had a bad stigma to those that may not know everything about it, but studies suggest there could be positive effects for some conditions.
"We're really talking about a natural derivative of a plant where you're not going to get high off of it, you're not going to get a buzz off of it. CBD is a product that basically, it's gonna have a wellness impact," explained Hyde House Co-Owner Cynthia Sauer.
And so, after taking over the Hyde House late last year, they wanted to add on to their existing gourmet food menu.
"We are going to be selling CBD.lattes. We're gonna be selling CBD products," said Sauer.
The CBD stigma comes from the fact that it's derived from cannabis plants, and has only been legal in Idaho since 2015 under certain guidelines, including a zero-percent THC level and only specific parts of the plants allowed to be used. While many CBD-specific shops have popped up across the Treasure Valley, mom and daughter wanted to make things easier for those it could benefit.
"When people think of CBD, kind of the underbelly of the wellness world where you have CBD dealer on your shirt, I have to go to a tobacco shop, or I have to go to a head shop in order to buy things, and that may not be everybody's comfort level in terms of where they want to go," explained Sauer.
And so they added Grump's Wine Bar and Coffee Cafe to the Hyde house where you can sip on a glass of wine, find a new favorite beer, or, ironically, relax yourself with a coffee drink.
"Because it's a product that's often use for anti-anxiety or calm, somebody who would have it in a latte, they would perhaps be able to experience the same enjoyment of drinking coffee without the jitteriness," said Sauer.
They're one of a very small handful of Treasure Valley eateries that offer CBD products in their food or drinks, but say they'd like to be known as a destination location on where to find it. And through the challenge of opening up a new business selling controversial products while in the middle of a pandemic in the dead of winter, it's their bond that keeps their sights set on becoming a pioneer-of-sorts here in the Treasure Valley.
"I'm just proud to be doing this with my mom," smiled Swanstrom.
"And I wouldn't want to do it with anyone else. It's definitely a family thing," said Sauer.
As of now, on the federal level, the FDA has only approved one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related drug products for public use, all four of which can only be obtained through a prescription. Grumps Wine bar and Coffee Cafe, which is part of the Hyde House in Hyde Park, had their grand opening near the beginning of the year. They say they opened it separately from the Hyde House in case they want to expand it into other parts of the Treasure Valley in the future.