Since the opening of AK Alchemist in 2013, this hybrid between a coffee shop and a Tex-Mex food destination has grown more popular amongst Alaskans. Not only do they serve some of the best coffee Alaska has to offer, but also a great selection of lunch items such as fish tacos, burgers, Alaskan burritos, reindeer dogs, fish and chips and many more items that utilize Alaska’s specialty ingredients. Since AK Alchemist is known for their coffee and great meals, it has become a local hot spot. With the growing amount of customers, this little shop has decided to expand to two new locations.
Built from a shipping container, AK Alchemist’s first and most popular location is downtown on Fourth and A Street. With their urban artwork and space management of the shipping container, they were able to transform into a favorite coffee and lunch hangout.
“Inside is small, cramped, but funky and full of charm, I loved that they opened it up with the glass wall because it really helps with feeling so packed in,” Brittany Morgan, frequent AK Alchemist customer said. “I especially love being able to get such delicious and unique food from a drive through.”
During the summer time, customers are able to sit out and enjoy the sun with a coffee or beer with their lunch. However, during those days when it’s not nice to sit outside, or even the winter season, there are inside spots available to enjoy their food and beverages. Although there are spots available inside, it is still a bit cramped when there are multiple customers.
“I love going in and eating, but if you’re at the table and there’s someone ordering at the same time, you’re kind of on top of one another,” Morgan said. “It actually caused me to leave early when I’d have loved to stay longer, so expanding would be great.”
AK Alchemist opened a second location a couple months ago located inside Nuka Learning and Wellness Center off Tutor road. Because the first location grew popular in a short amount of time, they decided it was time to open a second. AKA2 is a bit different from AKA1 with their food items.
“We started the second location because we got very popular and we wanted to expand and there was an opening in that hospital. So, we went for it and it turned out amazing,” Megan Martz, a barista at AKA1 and AKA2 said. “It’s more fast paced at the first location especially because we have a full menu and so many options, as for the second location we don’t have a cook there like we do the one downtown.”
On Dec. 2, they opened their third location in the Alaska Regional Hospital. Unlike the second location, they will have the same food menu as AKA1 at this location. In the future, they are looking to open a fourth shop in Alaska Regional.
“It’s going to keep growing into the current gift shop that’s in regional and add indoor seating and a bigger food menu,” Marissa Nunooruk, AK Alchemist manager said.
Every AK Alchemist location provides a different experience for customers with different settings, food menus and experience.
“Each location differs on amenities, most of our shops are just walk up or in coffee stands,” Kyrsten Fischer, lead barista at AK Alchemist, said. “At AKA1, we have a full kitchen and at the other locations we have mainly grab and go items like sandwiches, salads, parfaits, fruit cups and baked goods. Everything is still made fresh in-house by our amazing chefs.”
The future is exciting for this shop and many opportunities awaits.
“Our business opener is always looking to expand, add-on, try new things to make our company grow and excel as much as possible,” Fischer said. “I can only imagine the best in store for us!”
If you are looking for a new place to have lunch or grab a great coffee, check out any of AK Alchemists’ locations. AKA1 is most popular for their Alaskan burrito and halibut tacos, these are not items one should miss out on. Besides the great coffee and food, the baristas and cooks always provide welcoming customer service. This local business is becoming one of Alaska’s go-to lunch destinations and has various locations around town that will provide a positive new experience each time.