Business Insider

David Staats: Moments of TV fame for 3 young Idaho businesses

Would you risk going on reality TV to promote your business?

The co-founder of Oregon’s Dutch Bros. coffee chain did. Travis Boersma posed as a restaurant consultant to observe employees at one of Dutch Bros.’s franchise stores in Nampa for the Nov. 15 episode of CBS’s “Undercover Boss.”

Banesa Ybarguen, a 28-year-old barista, showed Boersma how to greet customers at the store at 345 Caldwell Blvd. At the episode’s end, he did what bosses on that show usually do: donate money to help a good employee who needs a hand. Boersma gave $50,000 to help Ybarguen meet her goal of starting a community garden, plus $10,000 for herself and her two children.

Last February, the brothers who own Eagle’s Proof Eyewear took a chance on a reality show, too. Taylor, Brooks and Tanner Dame went on ABC’s “Shark Tank” seeking $150,000 for their eco-friendly eyeglass-frames business. They didn’t get the money, but they did get national exposure. Proof has since opened a flagship store at 439 S. Capitol Blvd. in Boise.

A fledgling Nampa business is pursuing free national TV exposure, too: Poop — Natural Dairy Compost is one of four finalists in a contest sponsored by software firm Intuit that will award a 30-second commercial in February’s Super Bowl.

These are novel approaches to marketing. The exposure helps the businesses. For the rest of us, it’s fun to watch.