A place to gather, grow and be fed
By Joshua Nishimoto
Photo Courtesy of The Gathering Place
A cacophony of conversation swirls about the room as I walk through the front door. The smell of fresh bread wafts through the air as I move about the bakery. People are talking in normal tones, with patrons at the front of the line speaking slightly louder to order a sandwich, a delectable scone, or donut and a preferred beverage, where a quiet bustling occurs above the chatter of happy people sharing themselves over a meal.
From the back of the ordering line to the back of a large kitchen, employees in The Bread Basket bakery happily buzz about in their environment. Everyone is calm, moving in quick, decisive rhythm, without worry or any appearance of being rushed.
With wood paneling, tables and chairs, The Gathering Place feels rustic and clean, offering patrons a comfortable atmosphere, leaving me time to ruminate. I could see how one could spend a considerable amount of time working on a novel, reading a book, pondering over life's mysteries, or how one could simply take a seat, eat a meal and work out their problems.
Walking from room to room, I wandered into Sharon’s Country store, where I found: books, toys, games, textiles, cheese, fruit, meats, candy, ice cream and many other grocery items. One may also find cooking supplies and baking utensils in the back. From specialty syrup and pancake mixes to rainbow of options for colored gelatin; it’s a baker’s dream. Everything at The Gathering Place appears intentional. The open flowing rooms give the impression that a great deal of thought and detail has gone into the layout and selection of each item offered.
Walking through the garage-sized front storefront, I’m punched in the face with the aroma of coffee beans and fresh fruit. As most caffeinated cultist coffee drinking snobs, I’m used to the smell of coffee at coffee shops, but somehow the combination of coffee and fresh fruit is intoxicating. I must admit that the coffee shop lured me in first. Once I have my Americano in hand, I fold into a large leather chair; it’s game over. I’ll be sitting here for a while. But alas … I must move on.
As I walk from store to store, I can’t help but think about The Gathering Place as a special place. I wish I could tell you that the many varieties of confectionary delights, including but not limited to vegan power bars, vegan candy, coffee and specialty dark chocolate make The Gathering Place special. It could be the fresh produce, the vintage piano in the coffee shop, or the kids’ sturdy wooden playground and babbling brook between the buildings, or the fact that around every corner there’s a comfy couch or rocking chair begging to be sat on for a while, but these are not special solely to The Gathering Place.
After talking with the owner, I realized that The Gathering Place is a success because of the people. They are the community, serving the community. They are just as happy as their customers to be here, and it shows in both their work ethic and dedication to service.
The owners and operators of The Gathering Place, Norv and Sharon Skrivseth, could not stop going on and on about how thankful they are. If The Gathering Place is their love song to the community that has embraced them, consider this article their love note.
The Gathering Place
510752 Highway 95
Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805
208.267.4100 (The Bread Basket)
208,267,7579 (Sharon’s Country Store)