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Leap of Faith

It seems like a long time ago that I was taking the Intro to Small Business class at UAS, and working on my business plan project. Since then, I have opened a restaurant using that plan as a template, built a solid customer base, and grown a successful business. Because of the flexibility of UAS e-Learning classes, I’ve been able to continue pursuing my accounting degree.

Julie with a selection of menu itemsI was a freshman living in student housing at the University of Alaska Southeast, when I realized that Auke Bay needed a coffee shop type place to hang out after everything else had closed.  I had planned to finish school, and then look for a place to open a coffee shop. However, with business, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. I knew that if I didn’t take advantage of a great opportunity, someone else would.  After much planning, and a lot of work, In January, 2004, in the middle of my sophomore year, I opened the Waffle Co. It’s now been open for 6 years.

The Southeast Waffle Company is located just 5 minutes from the UAS campus, and we offer long hours and free Wi-Fi. The Waffle Co. is open early and late serving waffles and coffee to students at UAS and all of the community. We provide a comfortable atmosphere, great homemade food, and great friendly service.

In 2007, I did an extensive remodel on the space, expanding the size and the menu.  We now serve not only a variety of sweet and savory waffles, but also homemade soup, sandwiches, baked goods and ice cream.

I’ve always had college students in mind when making business decisions, and I strive to keep my prices low, and maintain accessible hours. Lately, I’ve been displaying student artists’ work on the walls, and plan to display a new set of artwork each month. I love being able to be a part of the community, and being able to give back when I can.

Julie serving espresso“Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Herman Cain

View the Juneau Empire article, "Waffles a winning recipe for student entrepreneur" on Julie being recognized at the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. She took 4th place out of the 32 finalists.


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