by Cali Carpenter, class of 2017
Historic downtown Nampa is just a few short minutes away from campus, and, although it may be quaint, it won’t take long to discover that there are hidden treasures that lie in the heart of our town. We love that the student support of these shops boosts the economic community of Nampa, but of even more value is the unique college experience they create for students.
Here are some of our favorite local businesses:
The crowd favorite Flying M Coffeegarage is one of the most popular hangouts for NNU students and locals alike. Not only is it a great place to study and get yummy drinks and pastries, but they also have events happening every week. Trivia Tuesday is a popular one among students. You can test what you know in a competitive game of trivia for a chance to win Flying M gift cards! You can also attend a free coffee cupping class and learn everything there is to know about coffee—from where it comes from to how it ends up in your cup—leaving you feeling like a coffee pro. They always have concerts going on, a fun craft market during the holiday season, and so much more.
The Nampa Co-Op, a locally sourced grocery store, has been the perfect addition to downtown ever since its opening in January 2015. They are focused on providing the best local food, and work with vendors directly to ensure that everything sold is fresh, local and healthy. This co-op is the first of its kind in Nampa, and offers a great place to shop for those who are health-conscious. Anyone can shop at this grocery store, but you can also buy a membership and receive a 10-percent discount on every purchase!
One of our top food choices is a brand new addition to Nampa, Boise Fry Company. Their burgers are out of this world, but the fries are even better. You can choose from a multitude of different potatoes, cuts, sauces and seasonings. Your options include anything from cajun to jalapeno seasonings or sauces like spicy fry, roasted garlic, or even blueberry ketchup (if you’re feeling extra brave). There’s also a brand new balcony perfect for hanging out and enjoying your meal—fire pit included! No matter what you choose, you won’t be disappointed.
The Nampa Public Library is another one of our favorite spots downtown. Open since March 2015, this new, modern building is a perfect spot to spend an afternoon hanging out or knocking out some homework. The library has free wifi (YES!), computers and laptops for public use, and while you’re there you can peruse their large selection of books, magazines, music, movies and more. They also have events happening all the time including classes—learn Microsoft Word basics or painting with watercolors—or even movie nights! Everyone is welcome at the library, but to rent things out you will need to get a membership. Luckily for NNU students, it’s free as long as you’re still attending school and living in Nampa. Head to the library and get yourself a library card today!
Downtown Nampa has thrift shops galore, perfect for bargain hunters and NNU students on a budget. Not only is it fun to go treasure hunting for good deals, but it’s also something that you can do with a group of friends! Right across from the Flying M you will find St. Vincent De Paul Society and Avenue Thrift Store, and not too much farther down is The Rescue Mission Thrift Store and More Than a Thrift Store. Whether you’re looking for a retro chair for your dorm room or some vintage jeans, downtown Nampa is the place to go.
Don’t be surprised to find NNU students at other local businesses including Yesteryear Shoppe (a quaint used bookstore), bike shops such as Cafferty’s and Rolling H Cycles, Puffy Mondaes (a sustainable arts store offering supplies and classes), Messenger Pizza (a colorful hole-in-the-wall favorite), or Brick 29 (a fancy meal destination that won’t leave you disappointed).
Come to NNU and discover for yourself why we love the city of Nampa, Idaho.