New donut shop focuses on homemade, locally sourced pastries

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This story was originally written for The Spenardian and published in the Anchorage Press.


It’s the best dessert, Chris Thomas, a detective for Anchorage Police Department says he has ever had.

“There was a bacon maple fritter that I would gladly cut someone for. It was next level,” Thomas said. “I feel like this would be a perfect meeting food. Eating this would easily be the most productive thing anyone did during the meeting. I would be more excited about going to meetings if I was guaranteed one of these fritters.”

Thomas first heard about Dipper Donuts from a coworker. The Special Victims Unit detective had the opportunity to sample several different donuts from the new local donut shop which will be opening its doors in Spenard after Labor Day.

After a deal fell through at the last minute to purchase a current donut shop in Anchorage, Andre Horton, along with owner Laura Cameron, decided to create his own establishment, Dipper Donuts.

“It has definitely been a bootstrapping endeavor,” Horton said.

Horton has made many connections in the Anchorage community that have helped him create Dipper Donuts from the ground up, including one with Dale Tran, chief financial officer of Kaladi Brothers Coffee who passed away in January of this year.

Horton and Tran met through an advertising firm that Horton started called Yuit Communications. The firm did advertising for Kaladi Brothers Coffee, and Horton and Tran forged a relationship. Horton would visit Tran and tell him about donuts and Tran would suggest flavors to experiment with.

“To lose him was really difficult on me because he was the person that was pushing for me to do this,” Horton said.

Despite the loss of Tran, Horton is happy to see a relationship between his new entrepreneurial endeavor and Kaladi Brothers Coffee grow. Dipper Donuts will be selling all of their donuts to Kaladi Brothers to sell in several locations in the Anchorage Bowl.

Horton met his pastry chef, Rebecca Reed, after being hired by her to photograph her wedding. They met to discuss photos when Horton mentioned getting into the donut business. Since then, all the two discuss are donuts.
“It’s important for me to use quality ingredients. A lot of donut shops just use mixes and these buckets of goo…EVerything’s from scratch, and we’re going to use local ingredients when we can,” Reed said.

Both Reed and Horton express the importance of quality made donuts; everything is made from scratch, even the nutmeg.“She wouldn’t let us hire her unless we let her do it her way,” Horton said.

Reed’s most recent donut experiments consist of a yeast raised donut with a Black Cup French roast glaze and a raspberry iced donut with shaved white chocolate on top. Reed hopes that the quality of their donuts draws Anchorage residents in.

Reed attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park for baking and pastries. Since then, she has worked in a bakery in New York, Colorado and Massachusetts before making her way to Alaska.

“I think when I look at a box of donuts, I think of sharing… I hope they see this as an opportunity to get together and enjoy some good food and get excited about something,” Reed said.

The new donut shop is located at 1209 W 36th Ave and hopes to be open and operational by Labor Day. Learn more at their website and Facebook page.

The Author

Hi! My name is Sam Davenport. I am a freelance writer and lifelong Alaskan who loves reporting on the state’s history, food and culture. I am a graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage, where I received bachelors degrees in journalism and political science. I was the executive editor of The Northern Light — UAA’s student-run newspaper — for 2.5 years During my time at UAA, I completed internships at the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Public Media. I am the managing editor of The Spenardian, an award-winning hyper-local news blog and magazine for the neighborhood of Spenard. I have been published in Vice, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News, The Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Magazine, Alaska Business, The Northern Light, The Anchorage Press, The Frontiersman, Alaska’s Energy Desk, KSKA, KTOO, Last Frontier Magazine, Crude Magazine, Mountain View Post, The Spenardian, Alaska Contractor Magazine, Wildheart Magazine and True North Magazine. For freelancing rates or a copy of my resume, please email me at

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