Made in Idaho: The Basque Market

The essence of Spain's Basque Country here in Boise
Posted at 9:01 AM, Jan 05, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — Meet Tony Eiguren. He wears a few different hats at the Basque Market.

"I am the head dishwasher. Sorry, my wife and I own the market. But I am the head dishwasher," smiled Basque Market Co-Owner Tony Eiguren.

Some might look at the market as the centerpiece of the Basque Block.

"We are a little restaurant, we're a retail store, we're a wine shop, we cater, we do cooking classes, all of that wrapped up in a little space," said Eiguren.

Before Tony and his wife Tara took over the business 18 years ago, he already knew the area incredibly well.

"I was born and raised in Boise, kind of my second home was on the block. I'm Basque, so I was down here dancing and my parents were in the community and everything," said Eiguren.

But his adult life was very different before the market came along.

"I taught school for 22 years. I taught seventh grade math," said Eiguren.

And when they bought the market around 2006, it took some time to really get things going.

"During that year, we figured that the market was not holding its own, so I went back to teaching and taught another nine years while we owned this. So Tara ran the market and was here all the time and I was here after school and weekends," said Eiguren.

Certainly a lot of work.

"I had Sunday afternoons off," smiled Eiguren.

But that hard work paid off as he was able to retire from teaching about seven years ago to focus on the Basque Market while bringing a ton of new varieties of a Basque food favorite.

"We do about 10-thousand croquetas a month. We have about 16 or 17 flavors that we now rotate through," said Eiguren.

But the real show features paella, their signature dish that you can watch be made a few times a week, rain or shine. It was started out of necessity.

"We are very small and so I volunteered to stand outside and make the paella for that Wednesday. And we advertised it, it was a great day, and so then the next Wednesday we did it again, I was outside, and it just continued from there, I haven't been able to move in yet," laughed Eiguren.

Inside or outside, you'll always find something unique at this Made in Idaho market, something Tony is proud to deliver.

"We'll serve someone, and I love it when they say oh, that reminds me of my mom, or my grandmother. Or that tastes just like over there. They say things like that, and I'm like that's just what we wanted. That's what we're going for. And I think we're making good memories," said Eiguren.