If you live in Anchorage, chances are you’ve heard of Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, tucked away in a quiet pocket neighborhood just south of downtown. Fire Island was founded by Janis Fleischman and Jerry Lewanski in the spring of 2009. Three years later, Rachel Saul bought into this popular business and became a partner, and as a family and business team, they run an incredible staff of bakers and baked good enthusiasts which have quickly cultivated a large base of loyal customers!
Janis and Jerry worked with the Alaska Small Business Development Center when they first opened the bakeshop utilizing the no-cost one-on-one confidential advising sessions as well as taking our popular financial course, Profit Mastery. After 6 years in business, they are still using the accounting and bookkeeping techniques they learned from the class.
More recently, Rachel worked with Business Advisor Kimberlee Hayward and utilized our expanded capacity to conduct market research for growing businesses. Rachel had recently been accepted into the Goldman Sachs apprenticeship program, a highly competitive opportunity for small business owners to work with a world-renowned business on growth initiatives of their own. Kim worked in conjunction with the SBDC Research Interns to collect market data on new customer segments and work through a feasibility study for new opportunities specific to the bakeshop.
“From the beginning, the SBDC has made themselves available as a resource in all matters of business. We first worked with Isaac, and then 6 years later with Kimberlee. Both of them have provided excellent guidance and support and have helped to grow our business. They have been willing to answer every and all questions, looked up marketing information, given us industry standards by which we can measure our bakery and referred us in the right direction when the resources was elsewhere.”
Fire Island is located at 1343 G Street in the heart of South Addition- one of Anchorage’s oldest neighborhoods. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 7am-6pm and sell a wide variety of baked goods along with organic, fair trade coffee and tea. Learn more about their food and their staff by visiting their website, or follow them on Instagram and Facebook for updates that will certainly make your mouth water!