A Day in the Life of…
A Spoonful of Healthy Eating
By Morgan Smith
This feature article is a recurring series exploring interesting people, places and experiences in the Turnagain Arm region. Writers are encouraged to be creative and imaginative to go beyond traditional news reporting. Creative writing, photo essays and poetry are welcome.
For a long time, when someone mentioned Spoonline, people thought of the shortcut on the North Face of Alyeska, but ever since Spoonline’s debut in February 2016, the restaurant has not only won over our stomachs with their affordable, quality food options, but our hearts with their vivacious staff led by Alexandra Fletcher. Classically trained at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Alexandra was a perfect fit to shake up the traditional restaurant experience while still satisfying any craving.
Starting originally with only to-go catering options, Spoonline grew rapidly enough within its first year that they now offer breakfast and lunch with seating throughout multiple rooms. The cozy art infused dining is a relaxing atmosphere for a quick bite or spacious enough to hold meetings.
There is even options to rent out space for your special catered event. The menu includes a wide range of food from breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches, to lunch sandwiches, salads, and soups, with a gluten free bread, tortilla wrap or lettuce wrap option. Vegan dishes are also included on the menu.
When asking Alexandra about how it all got started, her focus seemed to be on providing “fun, fabulous food that you enjoy eating and you feel great afterwards.” Catering to Alaskans since 1998, Alexandra had been looking for a way to provide locals with her feel-good food on a larger scale, so when the opportunity for Spoonline presented itself, it seemed like the right time.
Now fully staffed with likeminded individuals, the restaurant has quickly become a go-to for people that want healthy creative concoctions that can be altered to fit dietary needs. Alexandra’s staff is made up of five wonderful women: Ashley Kearns, Jordan Stibitz, Meranda Burkeen, Vinny Nicolaisen, and Monique Ospina.
Each staff member is drawn to Girdwood for various, unique reasons, but the one thing they have in common is their love for what they do and who they do it for. Ashley Kearns said, “I love this job and the organic freeform cooking.”
After two and a half years of working for Spoonline, she seems to be in her element in the kitchen. She also relished the fact that Spoonline provides her with room to be creative while working with people’s diets. Catering to locals is her driving force.
This point seemed to be a reoccurring theme among the staff. Jordan Stibitz, who’s been a staff member since April of this year, said her favorite part of working at Spoonline was working with locals and guiding companies to prepare meals that will work for their lifestyles and diets. “When feeding locals, you get to know the town,” Stibitz said.
You can see the joy in what they do. It’s apparent as they work with smiles on their faces, the passion radiating from them. It’s contagious. You feel better just having been there, let alone how good the food makes you feel.
The future of Spoonline looks bright. They applied for a beer and wine license, which could then be accompanied by a dinner menu. Alexandra seemed elated at the prospect of a dinner menu. She said it is her favorite meal of the day to cook. She’s already mulling over food concepts she’d like to see on the menu. As she explained each dish, you can see her picturing future creations.
As Alexandra continued to talk about Spoonline and what it takes to run it, she gives thanks to everyone, even Ryo, the recycling guy. Her humility and compassion for her staff is moving. I think that’s why the food is so unforgettable-you can literally taste the passion.
Even the smallest staff member’s are always made to feel welcome. Upon approaching the front door, you are more often than not greeted by a staff member’s friendly dog. Equipped with a dog bed and toys, even the canines are cared for and cozy.
Want the perfect end to your meal? Spoonline also has something for your sweet-tooth by the register like chocolate chip cookies, vegan pecan ginger cookies, GF/DF ginger molasses as well as almond date “truffles” dipped in dark Guittard chocolate.
For me, eating at Spoonline feels like I’m at home. Welcoming conversation, warm atmosphere, the music is always spot on, the food is scrumptious and healthy, and most importantly, the staff makes you want to come back time and time again.