Alaska Entrepreneurs Pt. 3: Brown Bag Sandwich Co.

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by Russ Slaten

Original Air Date: November 2, 2012

Anchorage is a continually thriving community and a business hub for most of the state. Anchorage born-and-raised residents Antoine and Brynn McLeod left the state for college, but returned with a vision for Alaska.

The Brown Bag Sandwich Company is a downtown eatery offering everything from delivery and catering, to dine-in and take-out.

Married just a year ago, but with a relationship that began before college, owners Antoine and Brynn McLeod say the beginning of a business should form from new ideas.

Antoine and Brynn opened the Brown Bag Sandwich Company six months ago. At the ages of 28 and 26, the two said young business owners must have the entrepreneurial spirit engrained in the willingness to take risks.

"That's something that we both bring to the table is that we got a lot of fresh ideas that not a lot of people are really confident enough to try, and maybe we're just too young and dumb to know better, but we like doing things kind of against the grain," said Antoine.

The two said the idea formed in college with inspiring eateries, and after assessing downtown Anchorage's need in healthy sandwiches and late-night food.

The McLeods said the business is multi-faceted by offering a place for quick lunch or catering for business professionals during the day, and late-night snacks for those enjoying the nightlife.

The D Street between 4th and 5th Avenue location allows customers to take sandwiches to-go or dine-in.

Brynn says their mindset was a major factor in making their dream of owning their own business a reality.

"What's a design flaw in a product, or what's a vacancy in a market? And thinking that way over and over again, it just kind of simplifies your entire thought process, where it's like it's not as hard as it seems. It's difficult, it's a challenge, it'll take a lot of work, but it's not impossible," said Brynn.

Antoine said one of the biggest keys to a continually successful business is preparation and dedication.

"The momentum is going to keep you in there, just start checking off items on your list. It's a lot of hard work, it's rewarding, but if you're interested in starting a new business, just be prepared to put in some long hours."

The McLeods said the Brown Bag Sandwich Company is aiming to be an asset to the community by encouraging a healthy lifestyle and promoting active living.

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