Business Digest

Staff Reports

Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2006

Juneau insurance agent recognized

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Juneau State Farm agent Reuben Willis was one of 25 Alaska company agents last month receiving a national award for achievement.

The annual award is given to those demonstrating business growth and a high level of client service. When it comes to performance, Willis ranks in the top third of the 25 agents recognized, said State Farm spokeswoman Kellie Williams.

Willis was also recognized for his length of tenure with the company - 15 years. The agent works from a downtown office located across from the Foodland Shopping Center and also operates an office in Sitka, which he visits once a week.

Willis offers some 96 products that range from life and auto insurance to annuities.

Restaurant opens to cater to ship workers

Year-round Filipino cuisine returns to downtown Juneau, as Eddie's Fast Food opened last month in the former location of the Pasta Express kitchen on Front Street.

Like the previous owners, chef Narciso Uddipa and son Nel are catering to cruise ship workers hailing from the Philippines and Indonesia by offering authentic meals from their respective homelands.

Narciso's resume features five-star restaurants in the Philippines and gigs in Hawaii and Sitka. He was also part of the kitchen crew aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries, Nel said.

Besides Asian dishes, the menu has American fare, such as hamburgers and halibut sandwiches. Nel said the business will stay open year-round, but the menu may be subject to changes after the cruise ship season ends.

Eddie's Fast Food also includes an espresso bar.

Shipwright kicks off business with sale

Juneau-based Black Feather Boats launched the first version of the ChilKat 30, a 30-foot power catamaran, on Saturday morning at Auke Bay Harbor.

The boat was built for Eagle Charters of Elfin Cove; five more boats are on order. The project took the crew at Black Feather Boats all winter to prepare the shop and the tooling for the first boat.

Owner Gregor Welpton bought molds of a catamaran in Seattle and employed a technology known as vacuum infusion, which builds smoother fiberglass.

• Business Digest is compiled by Empire reporter Andrew Petty. If you know of any business-related news, please contact him at

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