Did you know a thriving local patisserie in Anchorage is run by two University of Alaska alums?
Sweet Caribou is owned by James Strong, an undergraduate and graduate alum of UAA and UAF. Pastry chef Samantha Wagner graduated from UAA’s Culinary Arts program (‘13). The business also employs several UAA students.
During his time in college, completing a Bachelor’s degree in business administration at UAA, Strong worked his way up from a busboy at the Moose's Tooth to manager of the Bear Tooth Pub. After completing his master’s degree in fisheries at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2011, Strong had plans to work toward a doctorate, but said the excitement of the restaurant industry lured him back to the kitchen.
Wagner completed her culinary degree at UAA in 2013 but stayed on an extra year to hone her skills as a lab assistant for Chef Vern, a culinary professor and pastry guru at UAA. Wagner still maintains a connection with the UAA culinary program, volunteering at the annual Celebrity Chef Invitational scholarship fundraiser.
Offering sweet and savory treats and a variety of unique salads, Sweet Caribou seeks to utilize locally sourced ingredients as much as possible, supporting other Alaskan businesses along the way.
Sweet Caribou is a delicious example of the creativity and drive UA graduates bring to Alaska’s business world.