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Wasilla bakery known for its locally sourced, organic food closes Saturday

Bistro Red Beet has been in the community for 15 years
A bakery off the Palmer-Wasilla Highway has been serving locally grown, organic food to residents for 15 years, but is set to close after this Saturday.
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 8:15 PM AKDT
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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - A quaint eatery and bakery nestled off the Palmer-Wasilla Highway has been serving locally grown, organic, and gluten-free food options to customers over the last 15 years. About a month ago, Bistro Red Beet owner Sally Koppenberg took to social media to announce that Saturday, April 2 would be their last day.

“We would like to have sold it so that it could continue providing the community with the things that they clearly have embraced,” Koppenberg said.

The bakery owner said a number of people showed interest in potentially purchasing the business, but after some time it became apparent that they were going to have to close — instead of sell — to commit to their goal of retiring in spring 2022. Koppenberg will be the first to admit that owning a successful business with a weekly changing menu is a lot of work, so it wasn’t a surprise that she was unable to find a new owner.

“My husband and I are just not that young anymore,” Koppenberg laughed. “... Restaurant work is really kind of a young person’s game. It really is.”

Since the announcement, loyal customers of the eatery have been coming in droves to support the business and say their goodbyes. Some, Koppenberg said, have been coming in almost every day.

“It’s been very hectic,” Koppenberg admitted. “They’re sending us out with a great big bang and they’re just wearing us to a frazzle, so they’ve done their job. We’re going to go out tired.”

Koppenberg and her husband aren’t quite sure how they will spend their retirement yet, but there are no plans of leaving the community. She said they’ll continue to work within the food industry in some capacity, including plans to put out her own line of cookbooks.

“That’s one of my big long-term projects that I’ll be working on,” Koppenberg said. “And then we’ll be dinging around locally with food, doing something.”

Koppenberg seemed at peace that Saturday will be their last day open as a business. When asked what she was most proud of in the last 15 years, she said the community.

“The people in this community who grow and produce food, regardless of what swirls around them,” Koppenberg said. “I am so thankful for them.”

According to Koppenberg, all Bistro Red Beet did was feature what local farmers grew for the community, and hearing that community come alive and interact with each other under her roof was one of the most fulfilling parts of owning it.

Koppenberg said she and her husband are thankful for the support from their customers over the years, but that they’re happy with their decision to move forward.

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