Missy’s Spot: Food made from the heart, in the heart of Wasilla
In July of 2020, Melissa Marrero was laid off from her slope job due to the COVID pandemic and she realized she couldn’t rely on unemployment; thankfully, her entrepreneurial instincts clicked in. She thought, “Why not try a hot dog stand?” Melissa bought a tent, a grill, some hot dogs and secured a temporary location with the proper business licensing. Winter weather was on the heels of her quick success and she started to search for a protected and larger space. One location in particular made her heart leap; the former Mocha Moose building in Wasilla; however, as a new business owner, Melissa was nervous and didn’t pursue the space. She decided instead to lease a small and humble drive through spot, renovated it and opened as quickly as possible. Melissa added items to her menu, including espresso drinks and fast breakfast foods. This boot strap mindset quickly became the popular coffee stand named Missy’s Spot just off of the Parks Highway.
Almost two years later, as word-of-mouth advertising brought a multitude of new customers, Melissa once again found herself looking for a larger location as her business grew. Facing roadblocks, she turned to Trisha Sims, the Mat-Su Business Advisor at the Alaska Small Business Development Center.
Trisha helped Melissa learn about receptive lenders and what they required for business loan applications. Trisha and Melissa met several times to navigate a list of items essential to expanding the business. Trisha provided business plan assistance, industry specific research relating to the line of business and other items Melissa wasn’t aware of. This preparation helped Melissa move quickly, since around this same time she saw some restaurant equipment advertised for sale on a social media group, at the old Mocha Moose building. Not only was she able to move quickly to secure the full restaurant equipment but the space as well.
Melissa was able to utilize all of the help of her advisor and apply for some much needed funding through a resource provided by the Alaska SBDC. Missy’s Spot is now a dine-in restaurant, in her preferred location in the heart of Wasilla at 340 Lucille Street. The current menu includes coffee and espresso drinks, breakfast specials, lunch and snack items. The full menu can be found here.
“I was only able to do all this with my mom’s encouragement because during this she was passing away in hospice from breast cancer and Missy’s is dedicated to my mom! Also, with the Small Business Development Center in Wasilla, I was able to apply to banks that helped small businesses, grants, and other programs. In the end I was able to get a loan only because of the help and navigation of Trisha Sims with the Alaska Small Business Development Center of Wasilla, thank you!”
Client continues, “Thank you mom and thank you family for sticking by me through the struggles and thank you to my husband who has been my rock. All this happened within two years. My dream has come true and I’m in my dream location, with my dream job, in my dream state! Thank you to the Valley for making this possible!”