Morning News â€” Bob Hudson
Brutch Merrill shows off some of the products sold at All-American Market in Thomas. He also operates All-American Diner, which has a 1950s motif.
When Glenna Hale steps into the All-American Diner at 902 West Highway 39, she sees a bit of American from the 1950s.
There's a poster for "The Long, Long Trailer," a Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz movie, another advertising Pepsi for five cents and one featuring a 1954 Ford pickup.
"I like it," Hale said of the decor. "It brings back memories. I like all the old pictures of pickups and that. It's cool."
It doesn't hurt that the food is good, too.
Brutch Merrill and his wife Teresa operate the dinner, a market and gas station, a car wash and a pod of storage units. Brutch's parents, Parry and Sonia, opened the store in 1984 and built the diner about six years ago.
Eight to 12 employees staff the facility with Doris Niehart a familiar face over 20 years. Carmela Flores and Tammy Raymond are also longtimers while Sandy Empey came to cook after closing the Row's End Cafe in Rockford.
Dean and Sharon Wacaser followed her to All-American.
"She cooks a real good breakfast," Merrill said.
Eating breakfast there regularly, the Wacasers obviously agree.
"What's made it successful is we have a really good clientele and community who support us well," Merrrill said of All-American.
Those supporters include the farm community, what Merrill described as an exceptional Hispanic clientele and school kids.
The diner and market are about one block from Snake River high and junior high schools.
"Those school kids are obviously good clientele," Merrill said. "They're some of the best kids around.
"Another thing that helps us be successful is we have real good employees," Merrill said. "They all work very, very hard and they're concerned for our customers."
The diner is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The market and gas station are open 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Merrill said one thing that sets All-American apart from normal convenience stores is that he sells quite a few groceries.
Before settling in the Snake River area Parry Merrill worked at many Albertson's stores in Utah and Idaho. He brought that grocery mentality to All-American.
"We've tried to have a sense of community," Merrill said. "We try to help people and give back when we can."