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U.S. Small Business Administration Alaska District Selects 2010 Alaskan Small Businesses Person of the Year

HOMER ALASKA: The U.S. Small Business Administration is pleased to announce that Donna and Kevin Maltz, owners of Sourdough Express Bakery & Café in Homer Alaska will be honored as one of the Nation's Top State Small Business Winners in Washington May 23-25, 2010 for the National Small Business of the Year Awards. Merging a successful business with sound environmentally sustainable practices is becoming more and more important in today's economic and ecological conditions.  Donna Maltz, along with her husband, Kevin, created Alaska's first "Green Restaurant" by adopting sustainable practices such as conserving water and energy, composting, recycling, and using non-toxic cleaning products and chemicals in the Sourdough Express Bakery in Homer.  They also started an organization called "Sustainable Homer" to encourage other local businesses to adopt environmentally friendly procedures They hope that Sustainable Homer will serve as a model to persuade other Alaskan communities to follow suit. 

Sourdough Express Bakery was born 28 years ago when Donna, a recent graduate in the social ecology field from Evergreen State College in Washington, set off north on the Alaska Highway with a van full of organic grains.  She arrived at the end of the road in Homer and decided that she wasn't going to leave.  She had just $43, but was determined to follow through on her vision to provide quality, environmentally sound food for the Homer community in a fun atmosphere, one bite at a time. Donna's leadership and commitment to serving socially responsible food has enable the bakery to grow over the years, expanding from a fledgling 375 square foot shop to become one of the most popular full line bakery and restaurants in the state.  Food for people and the planet is the motto for their 3,200 square foot, 48 seat restaurant.  Everything is made from scratch, using primarily organic ingredients.  Whenever possible, they strive to obtain locally grown produce.

2009 offered many business challenges.  Their business was off by 15%, yet the Maltz's managed to show a greater profit then in years past.  They did this by implementing additional conservation measures and, as always, providing consistent quality to their customers.  One measure they took was to reduce the amount of take-out packaging by 50% this season simply by educating the consumer as to the lifecycle of the unnecessary waste.  Green equals Green! Their wish is to encourage, inspire and motivate all businesses, both small and large, to the virtues of a soul-enhancing business mindset that will sustain our species for years to come.

Karen Forsland, SBA Alaska District Director said "Small businesses like the Sourdough Express Bakery & Café have tremendous impacts on their communities, especially in rural Alaska.  We are pleased to recognize Donna and Kevin Maltz and their team as the 2010 SBA Alaska Small Business Persons of the Year."   

The SBA selects a Small Business Person of the Year for each of the 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.  Winners are selected based on their staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales and/or unit volume, financial strength, innovation, response to adversity, and community contributions.  For more information about Small Business Week go to: http://www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com/.

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