Business profile: Brady Deal

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2003

Title and company: Co-owner, Heritage Glacier Cafe

Biographical information: Deal grew up in North Carolina and moved to Juneau in 1996. Though he has no formal culinary training, he has worked in the food service industry for more than 10 years, and as a chef since 1995.

"I ended up under some really nice chefs, some really good chefs," Deal said. "And I guess I have a talent for it."

He worked as the head chef at the Fiddlehead for a year in 1997, then opened O'Bryan's with business partner Bryan Wilson in 1998. O'Bryan's closed the following year, and Deal tried his hand at a catering business and worked as a sous-chef at the Goldbelt before opening the Heritage Glacier Cafe in March 2001.

The cafe is a joint venture with Grady Saunders, president of Heritage Coffee.

Services: When Deal opened the Heritage Glacier Cafe with Saunders in the building formerly occupied by the Mountain Cafe, the owners performed some minor remodeling of the interior and repainted the exterior, but the major change they made was to the menu.

"What I did was I start out every menu with an idea of the core sandwiches, the ones that I know are going to sell, and I base the rest of the menu on that," Deal said. "That way there's not a lot of waste in the kitchen."

He added burgers, pasta and specialty sandwiches and wraps to the menu, which formerly consisted of soup and salads. He also added breakfasts foods, including omelets, breakfast burritos and a focaccia melt.

"We try to make everything we can here," he said. "All the dressings, the focaccia bread - it just comes out so much better."

Baked goods at the cafe come from the Heritage Coffee Company and Cafe on Franklin Street. Coffee drinks at the Glacier Cafe are identical to those at other Heritage cafes in town, Deal said.

His customer base has grown, and he has a core of regulars whose purchases make up about 75 percent of his business, he said.

"We have many regulars, and they usually go on a six-month cycle," Deal said. "We'll have them for six months then they'll go some other place for a few months and then they'll be back."

Deal advertises his cafe on KTOO, in the newspaper, at the movie theater, by word of mouth and with an e-mail newsletter to his regular patrons that contains recipes and upcoming events at the cafe.

The Heritage Glacier Cafe also has a catering program.

"Most of mine are smaller catering jobs, but we have a wonderful catering packet," Deal said. "You name it, it has anything that you can imagine."

Quotable: "Having regulars is great," Deal said. "When people leave they come up and thank me and say goodbye. It's really nice."

Contact information: Heritage Glacier Cafe, at 9112 Mendenhall Mall Road, is open from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Kitchen hours are from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 789-0692.

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