Made in Idaho: Kopper Kitchen

Posted at 2:02 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 16:02:53-04

BOISE, Idaho — There is a place in Boise that really fits the model of "homestyle." Whether you are talking about the food or the hospitality, Kopper Kitchen does everything they can to make you feel like family.

Since 1977, hungry locals have gotten their fill at the classic diner on West Airport Way.

"It's kind of a classic, American diner. We do fresh-made comfort food so imagine homemade biscuits and gravy and we make our finger steaks from scratch," said Brian Aragon, Owner of Kopper Kitchen. "I'm not sure if you're aware but finger steaks were invented here in Boise, so that's a tradition we like to keep up on."

Aragon is the fourth owner of Kopper Kitchen and says he wanted to be part of the 53-year-old restaurant because of the heart and soul you can feel just from walking in.

"I think the thing that really makes us different is, I mean, I've got employees that have been working here since the '80s," said Aragon. "They've been here forever through the original owners and they love it. It's a big family and it's important for us to keep that feeling going for them."

Like a majority of businesses, Kopper Kitchen as hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, only sis months after Aragon became the new owner.

"When I bought the place, we were a full-service restaurant and for those months we were closed down, we had to completely revamp the way we did business," Aragon said. "So we tried to keep as many employees as we could so we didn't have to furlough a bunch of people. We decided we were going to do a delivery service instead. So we were doing deliveries with our servers."

Despite their own struggles, Aragon says the restaurant is still doing what they can to help out the community, especially after seeing several posts online regarding parents unable to feed their children.

"I just, I couldn't have that. So I did a Facebook post letting everyone know that it's important to me, it's important to our entire staff that if somebody has a hungry child, we can't allow that," said Aragon. "As a business owner in this community, we can't allow that so we want people to come and we want people to understand that there's not going to be any questions asked. If you can't feed your children or you know somebody who's going to be affected by this, come up, we'll make you a sandwich or something. We'll do something to make sure people are taken care of."

That's the definition of Boise Kind, something Kopper Kitchen has been doing for decade, and a place that this Made in Idaho business wants everyone to feel welcome to.

"People come here because they belong. They have a sense of belonging. And that's important. I think it's important to people that we continue that on and I think that we have. All those servers stayed on, all those cooks stayed on and we're still doing the best that we can."