Julie Thatcher was just a 19-year-old student when she opened up Southeast Waffle Company, a cozy nook in the Squires Rest building near Auke Bay harbor that caters to students and fishermen alike. That was in January 2004.
Now, nearly a decade later, the mother of two is putting the business up for sale so she can spend more time with her 6-month-old and 2-year-old.
“I just feel like it’s time for me to do something else,” she said in an interview Wednesday, adding that the timing feels right because the store’s 10-year anniversary is right around the corner. “Now is a good time to take a break and spend time with my children and be with them while they’re little.”
The decision to list the business was not an easy one given its sentimental value, she said. She described the past 10 years of business as “fantastic” both on the business side — with revenues increasing every year and a growing customer base — and on the personal side.
“It’s been really good,” she said of her experience as a business owner. “This place has been so wonderful for me, and the people have been so wonderful. It’s just really been fantastic just getting to know the community of Juneau.
“It’s been definitely one of the hardest decisions I’ve made, I thought about it for probably two years before I decided,” she added.
Thatcher said she hopes that the new owner will keep it as is, with maybe just a few changes. But the sale will not have any such conditions attached, she said.
“They could buy the business and totally change it,” she said. “I’ve resigned myself to the fact that whoever comes in can do that.”
So far, the listing has generated interest with investors both in and out of town, she said. She is not saying publicly how much the business is going for.