For 16 years, Yeti’s Post Owner and Chef Seth Nelson navigated the Los Angeles restaurant scene. It wasn’t what he expected. His dream had been to run a bar and be a snowboard bum, but as part of his coursework for a degree in hospitality from the Art Institute of Los Angeles, he had to go to culinary school. Three days in, he quit his job bartending and took a position as a prep cook.
Somehow the years flew by and while Nelson got no closer to snow, he did gain experience working in a variety of restaurants in the Los Angeles area, including the top-rated Melisse. After two years there, he started working at the Four Seasons. His hope was he’d be able to transfer to the hotel’s Vancouver branch and be there for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but that didn’t happen. He did, however, meet his wife, Brook, and took up surfing, which helped ease his ache for snowboarding.
But when their daughter, Sage, was born 10 years ago, they decided they didn’t want to raise her (or her brother, Ryland, now 5) in Los Angeles.
“I spent my summers in Saratoga, Wyoming, growing up,” Nelson says. “We had no supervision. The only rule was be home by 6 p.m. There was no chance my daughter was going to have a childhood like that in L.A. So we began looking for something else.”
They moved to Santa Barbara, but Nelson was still working 100 hours a week, which he knew was not sustainable. He decided to make his way back to Wyoming. For a while he worked at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village, but then restaurant space in Driggs, Idaho, became available. Two weeks later, he’d signed the lease and Yeti’s Post became a reality. Doors opened in June 2018.
“Our concept was to have a small restaurant with filling, affordable, high-quality food,” Nelson says. “We wanted to fuel people going into the mountains and to fill them up when they are ‘hangry’ after coming out.”
The plan was to be a restaurant with doughnuts, but, Nelson says, demand transformed Yeti’s Post into a doughnut shop with food. His most popular options include a caramel cheesecake doughnut, a maple bacon variety, and a play on the Girl Scouts’ Samoas cookie. The menu also includes rice and breakfast bowls, coffee, beer, wine, sandwiches, and salads. Everything is homemade and, when possible, locally sourced.
With fire pits on the lawn for summer, meeting space with comfy couches, and Wifi, Yeti’s Post has become a neighborhood retreat with hours that allow Nelson to be with his family, and, of course, to get outside and enjoy the Tetons.