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Retailer Summit Spice and Tea Buys Ecommerce Store Alaska Artisanal

Nov 7, 2019 | News, Retail, Small Business

Summit Spice & Tea Co., Anchorage’s largest specialty food retail store, announced the purchase of ecommerce gift box and specialty food online store Alaska Artisanal.

The purchase creates a Summit Spice & Tea online store that sells Summit’s 160 teas, 230 spices, various Alaska made specialty foods, and Alaska Artisanal’s gift boxes. The new combined online store launched Tuesday, November 5.

“Alaska Artisanal’s unique offerings and established ecommerce presence allow us to broaden our reach to new customers, and to bring enhanced online convenience to our current customers,” said Summit owner DeeAnn Apgar.

By purchasing Alaska Artisanal, Summit was able to quickly add an online store, as well as the inventory management and order processing and fulfillment systems that work behind the scenes enabling both retail and online sales to occur. 

Alaska Artisanal was founded in 2013 by husband and wife team Ryan and Emily Wiswesser. After moving to Alaska in 2012, they found themselves searching across Alaska for small batch foods to send back to their families, and Alaska Artisanal was born. In 2016, Alaska Artisanal was the largest customer for chocolate maker Chugach Chocolates, and when the owner of Chugach Chocolates moved out of state, they purchased the chocolate company. Knowing they would need to devote more time to properly grow Chugach Chocolates, they started looking for a buyer for Alaska Artisanal.

“I don’t think this could have worked out better for the businesses – Alaska Artisanal needed a retail component, and Summit wanted an online store,” said Ryan. “This is a great example of a national trend occurring in Alaska and also, that yes, Alaska is a great place to start a business, and that the entrepreneurial spirit and opportunities in this state are strong and growing.”

With the purchase, Summit Spice & Tea also increased the number of Alaska made products they carry in their store. “There’s so much great Alaskan made food out there. Our customers want to buy Alaskan, and we want to support Alaskan producers,” said DeeAnn.

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