The Loves Kitchen: Delicious Hawaiian American Meals, Homemade Breads & More
Undoubtedly Cookie Griffith, a serial entrepreneur (who is aptly named), has a love of the cultural foods she grew up with and she wanted to share her gastronomic expertise with family and the Valdez community. Although her food is lovingly prepared and very well-received in Valdez, Cookie was unsure of how to economically scale up the business as she was moving from a partnership with her mom into the solo food trailer operator life. Cookie says, “I started selling food with my mom when I was pretty young as I was always with her learning how to do all-the-things food service”. Cookie further stated that she has worked in all sorts of environments, but the two of them started a waffle food truck in 2019.
She bought and operated the waffle truck with her mom on a whim, but in early 2021, Cookie decided to venture out on her own and start what is now The Loves Kitchen. She required a business advisor who could match her creativity, high energy, and maintain the flexibility needed in the competitive food truck space so she contacted the Alaska SBDC Fairbanks Center and found her match in advisor Jade Greene. Over the next year, Cookie worked with Jade completing three years of financial projections along with a sustainable yet creative business plan that is the blueprint for The Loves Kitchen’s current and future success. Business Advisor Greene was also instrumental assisting in the business successfully receiving much-needed funding. Cookie further elaborated that her continued success has been overwhelming and is propelling The Loves Kitchen to plan and look for a permanent trailer location. Valdez is tourist dependent and the high visibility of The Loves Kitchen brings in both hungry tourists and culinary adventurous locals who remain eager for unique and delicious fare such as Kalua Pork and Teriyaki Chicken plates, as well as the beautiful assortment of baked goodies. The Loves Kitchen’s new mini malasadas line dropped onto the menu in May 2022.
Cookie confirmed that a solo food trailer operation required a steep learning curve and it’s super weird going from decades of working with her mom in the kitchen to doing it all completely alone. The assistance of the Alaska SBDC made the process less burdensome allowing her to continue to honor all the culinary knowledge she obtained along the way, as she continues to create Hawaiian/American masterpieces and provide superior products to her beautiful hometown. Furthermore, Cookie states that she is looking forward to securing a permanent location during summer 2022, as she has a wait list of retailers interested in selling The Loves Kitchen products. She concludes, “I am so ready to expand into this realm with the continued support of my advisor, Jade Greene, who is a business genius and continues to help me explore opportunities in situations that I would never even think up. I am beyond grateful for her and the Alaska SBDC, as we make the BEST team.”
If you are interested in learning more about The Loves Kitchen connect with them on Facebook.