Yorba Linda, California
We started in Seward, Alaska, considered as the “Gateway” to the Gold Discovery Regions. It still celebrates itself as the Last and Great Frontier! “Eureka” is translated from the Greek as “I have found it”. It is used as an exclamation to celebrate a discovery. Our goal was to capture a piece of Alaskan History. We possess a strong commitment to serving hearty, delicious food in a warm, friendly, rustic environment — as well as delivering premium hospitality to our customers.
New York-style thin crust has always been a favorite of mine, as well as our customers, with no plans to change it up. I’ve been quite happy with the same flour for over 16 years. I use a high-gluten flour. It’s a daily routine with us and that is why our dough recipe and crust is so consistent. The quality of our dough has always stood out and is somewhat different from any of our competitors in the market. What makes our dough and recipe all the more interesting is that I use a pint of Alaskan Amber Beer in my liquid mix…Nothing like adding a true Alaskan experience with our ingredients!
With a nearly 4,000-mile move from the original Eureka, what were some of the differences in opening Eureka in Seward, Alaska versus Yorba Linda, California?
The contrast between the two markets and regions were vastly unique. We came from a town populated by roughly 3,000 (year-round) residents. During the summer months, or 100 days, the town would swell to close to 20,000+ people. Tourism was a major draw to the town of Seward. People traveled from all over the state, country and world to dine with us. It was humbling and overwhelming at the same time. But it was a very seasonal business, and this meant you made a decent living for the summer, then you worked for free the next eight months. However, the strain of trying to maintain a business in one state and family in another — in California and Alaska — eventually brought the family back to Yorba Linda full time.
You reached out to your customers about rising prices in your small business community. What message did you convey, why was it important to reach out to your customers and how was it received?
Call me a late bloomer, but I’ve had to be very aggressive on social media at a late age. My kids tease me a lot about not deserving technology. But without their support, guidance and assistance, I would not have made it without them. I have no problem now jumping on Instagram and Facebook and saying it like it is…always sincere but to the point! My most recent post, shared by many, conveyed a very transparent reality check. I asked our customers, both new and existing, to please keep this in mind: “When you come in and see us and other stores raising their prices now and in the coming months, it’s NOT so we can make money, it’s so we can survive and stay open and continue to serve customers (like you). We remain committed to your patronage, are happy you chose to shop with us and support A LOCAL BUSINESS during these times. WE ALL need to get through this.”