On July 1st 2013, Alaska Silk Pie Company will be celebrating twenty-eight years of epicurean delight. It has taken us into the homes of chocolate desesrt connoisseurs throughout the country. From Alaska's dancing Aurora nights and the land of the midnight sun to the dazzling lights of Seattle's Emerald City, we present to you only the finest, decadent, chocolate desserts.
Twenty-Seven years ago after a failed partnership of Anchorage, Alaska's first ever wine bar, Phyllis Buzzini started Alaska Silk Pie Co. with a $500 unemployment check. Her daughters Erin and Angie were in junior high and her oldest daughter Bridgette was a sophomore in high school. She rented time in her friend's restaurant from 6 PM until 6 AM Monday through Saturday every week for over a year.
The three sisters recall coming home after school and having to roll out pie crusts as soon as their homework had been finished and on occasion before the homework was started because there were orders that needed filling and delivering. The girls also remember having to fill baskets with desserts to sell them at ball games and different outdoor functions. The taste of Anchorage was one of those events....and let me tell you....to this day the three of them still talk about how much they hated having to go out and sell those desserts!
After an early dinner with the girls and sometimes before any dinner at all, Phyllis would leave for the night to make desserts until 6 AM the next morning. She would return home, wake the girls for school, take a quick nap, and be back at the deli by 11:30 to sell her desserts to the lunch crowd. She would sell the desserts she had made the night before to make enough money to buy the evenings inventory. Phyllis would work like this every day 6 days a week.
When we recently asked her how she did it she told us "quite frankly I really don't know now, I just did it because that was what needed to be done. I had a family to feed and I was a single mom. You just don't think about the how because you know why you're working like you are!"
Sunday's were always family day because that was the way Phyllis had grown up. The girls could invite any of their friends over for dinner but they were never allowed to leave on Sundays. The girls remember their Mom cooking up a huge pot of marinara sauce and pasta, Caesar salad, garlic cheese bread and of course, the newest flavor of Alaska Silk Pie for dessert. Everyone at the table had to try it and critic it before it became part of the Alaska Silk Pie line up. Phyllis has always respected the girl's opinions and as a matter of fact, to this day she says that they are her best critics.
Phyllis would drive as she liked to call them "disposable cars", because she could never afford to spend more than $150 at any one given time on a car. When the car died, she simply disposed of them and bought another. By working nights in her friend's closed deli she started what we today know as the "Alaska Silk Pie Company". Selling her desserts at the Rizzuto and Martell deli counter each day at lunch made enough money to support the family, buy inventory for that evening's work and the next day's orders. It allowed her to start her business without the traditional financing she was unable to obtain because of her failed wine bar. To date she has never obtained financing in the traditional way of a bank loan. Any financing has been from friends. All of her equipment has been purchased with cash that she has saved and then negotiated with the sales person for the best deal.
She has said many times; "If you don't have money then you had better be smart and surround yourself with people who do what you do NOT know how to do." You had also better have a TENACIOUS WILL! She is a firm believer in the following statement; "when you don't have knowledge as a barrier and you have an incredible will to succeed, there is nothing you can not achieve if that is what you truly want"! She has proven that during the past 27 years.
Phyllis has also instilled that same philosophy in her 3 daughters; they all own their own business. Erin has had a small vacation rental cleaning service for several years on Kauai. Just recently Erin became a certified Arborist and she is planning on starting a business this summer in Kauai, Hi.
Bridgette and her husband own a construction company in Billings, MT. and Angie has just opened her 2nd hair studio in Anacortes, WA. Phyllis is quite proud of all three girls. They're not only beautiful on the outside but truly beautiful young women on the inside she told us during this interview.
Today, Phyllis has a wide variety of "Alaska Silk Pie" flavors and makes desserts for an array of customers. She also sends her desserts to "YOU" her VERY SPECIAL VALUED CUSTOMERS, anywhere in the nation via Fed Ex-2nd day service, Standard Overnight or Priority, whatever is your preference. Her local customers can come right to the bakery and pick up a variety of desserts that are currently stocked or you can call ahead for something very special that can not be found anywhere else in the city.
Our creative pastry chefs continue to create incredible and unique signature desserts for guests and patrons the world around. NOW....it's your turn to savour the flavor of Alaska Silk......are you ready for a tour and a taste?
The following is a list of customers where you will find Alaska Silk Pies: the Peterson Co., Nordstrom Cafes, Neiman Marcus, Horchow, Bergdorf's, Princess Tours, Holland America, the Lynnwood Conventions Center, PCC stores, Haggens, Met Markets, Thriftways, Market of Choice, and the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation are some of our valued partners.