Meet Our Entrepreneurs

Bill Ho’Opai

Bill Ho’Opai

Meet Bill. In 2014, when an ACLT-owned building became available in the heart of Mountain View, we partnered with Bill to make his dream of starting and owning Anchorage’s first German restaurant, West Berlin, come true.

Flash forward to 2018. Despite being a Mountain View staple, West Berlin wanted to market itself city-wide. Lacking name recognition throughout Anchorage, and without having a brand identity, it was easily overlooked by people who didn’t already frequent the neighborhood.

In partnership with Alopex Interaction Design, we helped Bill craft a new logo inspired by Berlin’s Bauhaus art movement. Once the identity was created, we got to work repainting and installing new signage that brings Bill’s new vision to life -- including a soon-to-be iconic neon pretzel sign, to remind everyone where the best pretzels in the city live!

Missy Simms

Missy

Missy is a graduate of the very first Set Up Shop cohort in 2018, and has been building her business ever since. She started with mobile event-based sales, grew into custom treats and catering, and has now opened her very own bricks and mortar candy shop, Sweet Creations Lollipop Boutique, in the heart of Mountain View. She based the shop on the candy stores she grew up with in her home state of Louisiana. "I hope it makes the kids happy," she says- and it already does. Set Up Shop helped Missy build the tools she needed to grow her pop-up business to a bricks and mortar space. When she was ready to launch, ACLT worked with Missy to review her lease and options, assisted with the buildout of the space, and helped her develop critical tools like a point of sales system and a marketing plan. Sweet Creations is open from 11:00AM-7:30PM Wednesday-Sunday. We encourage you to stop by, give her a welcome, and try a sugary treat (or five- we won't tell)!

Soledad Lescas & Manuel Bautista

Soledad & Manuel

Meet Soledad & Manuel. Soledad & Manuel had long been staples to the Anchorage farmers’ market scene, growing and selling fresh produce and cottage goods throughout the city. Though they ran a good business during summer months, they wanted to extend their business throughout the fall and winter seasons.

The couple, who immigrated from Oaxaca and have made Anchorage their home for 20 years, decided to begin catering their traditional Oaxacan fare at local events.

ACLT assisted them through the permitting and licensing process to become official Fur Rendezvous vendors, where they were received with huge success. When their farm space became compromised, they began farming on ACLT’s Grow North Farm, ensuring they could grow, sell, and cater all on the same site.

You can now catch Ba-Lesca’s Brothers produce & catering on Grow North Farm, and across the city of Anchorage- we recommend the rhubarb tamales!

Delphine Atu-Tetuh

Delphine

Delphine is the founder/owner of Mountain View Community Mental Health & Recovery Center, who opened her clinic doors on Mountain View Drive in February, 2021!

Delphine is a specialist who has worked in the sector for over a decade as a registered nurse, and has spent years working towards the launch of her own business. Mountain View Community Health and Recovery Center is a mental health & recovery center focused on wraparound services, including case management, counseling and medication management, re-entry, and more. The clinic is founded on the belief that we need greater access to mental health services, and greater access to quality follow-up care. Delphine knows resources need to be connected to clients when they leave an institution or facility, to maintain continuity of care. Otherwise, they fall through the cracks, and are right back where they started. Delphine and her clinic aims to reverse the “revolving door” in mental health services.

Delphine graduated from Set Up Shop's training and hit the ground running with a business plan to open soon. Through Set Up Shop's real estate support, she found a space that had been sitting vacant in Mountain View for nearly a decade. Set Up Shop provided a loan to build out the space, and technical assistance to help her market and build her client base. Now, she is already booked out, bringing critical services to Anchorage residents and operating the business of her dreams!

Change is inspired when kids walk home from school along streets, surrounded on each side by successful small businesses.

As they observe their neighbors through shop windows, living out their dreams, they are reminded that anything is possible through hard work and collaboration.

Like the ones you see here, those entrepreneurs become role models and resident leaders. By empowering local entrepreneurs, our neighborhood commercial corridors can lift families and communities alike.