When Dianne and David Tydings decided to transition the restaurant they had run for 25 years in the Atwood Building to a catering business, downtown Anchorage lost an institution that had outlasted five Governors and had truly become part of the unique fabric that makes Anchorage unique. On their last day, customers lined up around the building for one last bowl of their famous South African Peanut Soup, and news outlets such as Alaska Daily News and KTUU covered the event.
The choice to transition to catering did not come easily for the Tydings. They had endured many challenges to keep their doors open, including a threat to their lease renewal when the building become state owned. They were incredibly attached to their neighborhood, working regularly with Bean’s Cafe and Covenant House and wanted to consult with the SBDC before making a final decision.
The Tydings had been regulars at the SBDC since 2011, utilizing the tools from Profit Mastery to keep a close eye on their financial position and working with Business Advisors on their projections. Anchorage Director, Lynn Klassert, began working with the Tydings first as they rewrote the business plan to focus on catering and then as they built the groundwork for the move.
“Working with Lynn helped us define our goals and unify our focus,” said Dianne. “He introduced us to a financial model and assisted us in making detailed accurate projections. We were able to evaluate the potential success of our move, and received encouragement and support to make critical decisions for the future of our business”.
Dianne’s Wild Fork Catering is up and running with a full line of catering options from breakfast to dinner. Check out their menu and pricing at their website or follow them on Facebook for updates on the business.