Brewing Success for Dogs and Their Owners: The Story of Kai’s Coffee and Barkery
When the founders of Kai’s Coffee and Barkery, Jeremy & Emily Anderson, first moved to Alaska, they were captivated by the unique coffee hut culture. Their daily interactions with friendly baristas and the joy their dogs experienced receiving free bones at the coffee windows sparked an idea. Inspired by their love for these community hubs and their dogs’ excitement, they envisioned creating their own coffee shop that would serve humans and cater to canine companions.
Kai’s Coffee and Barkery is more than just a coffee shop; it’s a haven for dog lovers. The founders expanded their vision to include gourmet treats for their four-legged customers. This innovative concept was born from observing their dogs’ eagerness at coffee hut windows, leading to a unique drive-thru experience that caters to both humans and dogs. The menu boasts homemade dog treats ranging from pupcakes and gourmet biscuits to Barkuterie Boxes, ensuring that every dog visitor leaves with a wagging tail.
The coffee shop prides itself on its collaboration with local businesses. They source their espresso beans from Aethereal Coffee and their drip and cold brew from Farm Loop Coffee, both local roasters in Palmer, AK. These partnerships ensure top-notch coffee quality and strengthen the local small business community.
The owner, a Registered Nurse, brings a unique perspective to the business. The shop offers holiday specials like pumpkin pup-pies and apple pies for dogs, custom birthday cakes, and Christmas stockings filled with homemade treats. They also host holiday giveaways in partnership with other local dog-centric businesses, fostering a strong community spirit.
Kai’s Coffee and Barkery has extended its reach beyond the shop, participating in several markets to sell its gourmet dog treats. These events have been instrumental in connecting with the community and sharing their passion. The shop stands out by using SHOTT syrup, a specialized natural syrup from New Zealand known for its real and concentrated flavors. This choice underscores their commitment to quality and distinguishes them as the only coffee hut in Eagle River using this product.
Carlos Machuca, the SBDC Anchorage Center Director, was instrumental in the success of Kai’s Coffee and Barkery. His invaluable contributions included offering resources and expert advice for developing a comprehensive business plan and a financial projection model. Additionally, Carlos played a key role in identifying a suitable lender and provided essential assistance in obtaining a small business loan.
“The SBDC was integral in our success as a start up, offering us guidance from small business resources, to helping to create a strong business plan, to securing a small business loan. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their support.”