Originally written for The Northern Light.
Local businesses are booming in the heart of Spenard. Among the new wave of businesses like The Writer’s Block and TK Korean BBQ Restaurant is Dipper Donuts, owned by UAA alumna Laura Cameron.
Coming from the corporate world, Cameron wanted to enhance her knowledge of business and economics at UAA and graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration in 2007, and later a master’s in business administration in 2016. Switching her business environment from the office to the kitchen was a new set of challenges she was eager to face.
“I wanted to start a business, but I was really worried that I wasn’t passionate about a particular product or service. So, I held back for a long time and stayed in corporate. It was great, and I liked opening new divisions and getting new business. So, I finally made the leap over,” Cameron said.
Cameron saw a hole in the market for doughnut shops and decided to take the plunge and secure a spot in the Spenard area. Dipper Donuts opened their doors in November of 2017. With no advertisement and the word of mouth of a few people, Cameron’s business started to flourish.
Locals like Kirsten Swann were able to take a bite of the new business.
“I’d say they reminded me of the kind of doughnuts you find in Portland or somewhere; I loved the creative flavor varieties,” Swann said.
Dipper Donuts originally started with two bakers, but since November, she has expanded her employment to four. Lyndsae Goodwin, former head baker at South Restaurant, saw the opportunity to expand and create baked goods at Dipper Donuts and decided to apply for a job.
“I was looking through Facebook one day and [Dipper Donuts] had posted a picture of this beautiful cronut. I sent them a message and was like, ‘I just want to make beautiful things in my life.’ And they called me in for an interview,” Goodwin said.
The ability to produce quality work also requires fine products that create the perfect batch of doughnuts.
“We don’t use any mixes, and we don’t use any artificial flavoring. Whenever possible, we use locally sourced ingredients. Because we are a local store, we definitely want to highlight all the really awesome stuff going on locally,” Goodwin said.
Cameron’s business started seeing traction. Companies like Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Cook Inlet were interested in partnering with Dipper Donuts.
“I know people want it, but we can’t exactly go out and deliver everywhere, every day yet. So, we’re just going to build and grow,” Cameron said.
“One of my goals has to do with the people that are coming to work here. There’s a lot of room for improvement. I learn in the corporate world, and I’m learning also from the people coming over as new employees. There’s a lot of room to kind of improve employee well-being and give them growth opportunities and support them,” Cameron added.
Dipper Donuts is located on 1209 W 36th Ave. They are open Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 5 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays.