The Shams sisters, Homeyra, Bahar S. Amir, Khatera, and Narges (pic l. to r.), were born in Afghanistan. They spent their early childhood there as well as in Iran and Turkey. They eventually immigrated to the United States because their father wanted his daughters to be able to receive an education, something they couldn’t pursue under the Taliban in Afghanistan. They arrived here knowing virtually no English and had to learn that as well as life in the US.
The Shams dreamed of creating a place where they could highlight their individual talents and introduce the cultures they were raised in to the people in Idaho.
Bahar came up with an idea to create a cafe, but wanted to name it something unique, but that also had a connection with their home country. The spice, Saffron, originated in Afghanistan and remains the best quality source of saffron. There were many places named after saffron but Bahar realized that very few used its nickname, sunshine spice, thus the Sunshine Spice Bakery & Café was born.
After several years of planning and research, the Shams were able to open their café in December of 2019. There, each of the sisters contributes their own unique skills and talents to the success of the business. Bahar as the lead baker is creative force behind the food-she researches and creates the recipes, incorporating saffron for a unique experience not found in Boise. She is also the food photographer and manages most of the business aspects of the café. Khatera is the chef and assistant baker, taking Bahar’s creations and producing them for the café. She is also the chief barista creating the coffee and tea drinks for the patrons.
Narges & Homeyra use their talents creative visual art for the café as well as manage the gallery space where they showcase the work of local artists. Homeyra manages the front of house customer experience while Narges manages the kitchen.
The menu of Sunshine Spice Café uses saffron in many of their pastries, puddings, cookies, coffee and tea drinks. They have recently added soups to their ever-expanding menu that are a fusion of Middle Eastern and American cuisines.