Nome is well-known as the finish line of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race which brings hundreds of tourists to the small town of 4,000 residents every year. Because of the booming tourist season, the town has a considerably large number of dining options for such a small community. According to TripAdvisor.com, Pingo Bakery-Seafood House, owned by Erica Pryzmont, tops that list.
Pingo is known for its hand-making its fresh meals and baked goods. They support the local community by serving Norton Sound seafood and Alaska seafood whenever possible. Customer reviews on their website and tripadvisor.com account have been nothing but stellar and visitors often make it a point to stop by more than once during their trip.
Erica Pryzmont began working with the Anchorage SBDC office in 2011. Early on that year, this included a ten-week distance delivery business plan class. After the class concluded, Pryzmont continued to work one-on-one with a Business Advisor to make sure her plan was feasible and that she was ready to open- and remain open well past her first year. Market research looks a little different in a place like Nome so Pryzmont and her Advisor found innovative ways to understand the market. For instance, they contacted the individual in charge to find out how many planes were coming in to the local airport, which helped them understand the market size fluctuations experienced by the small town based on the season.
“My advisor and I set up a regular meeting time, as often as weekly, when I began the planning and pre-opening process. This let me ask questions, get guidance, plan and work toward completing the many steps required before my business could open its doors” said Pryzmont.
Now that Pingo has been up and running for over two and a half years, Pryzmont checks in from time to time with the SBDC. You can check out their always updated website at pingobakery.com for the daily menu, pictures of their signature dishes and customer reviews or visit them in person at 308 Bering Street, Nome, Alaska.