Alaska Crate Company owner Brett Laichak displays boxes that will be used to ship a collection of Alaska items to subscribers. (Photo courtesy Brett Laichak)

Startup offers ‘Alaska in a box’

  • By JENNIFER WILLIAMS
  • Monday, September 26, 2016 9:02pm
  • News

A startup company out of Anchorage would like to sell you “Alaska in a box.”

Alaska Crate Company was founded in May of this year, and will be shipping out their first crates this October. This idea is not the first of its kind, but is certainly unique to Alaska. Founder and sole operator Brett Laichak, developed the idea to embody the spirit of Alaska and make those small niches that make the state unique available to those in the Lower 48.

For a monthly fee, subscribers will be sent a box of handpicked Alaskan items specific to each month, and each crate will never be the same. Laichak was born and raised in Alaska and has been working with local companies to build a base inventory of unique items. The largest contributors are currently Denali Brewing Co. and Copper River Seafood, but over the past week 33 additional small Alaskan companies have inquired about getting their products in the crates.

“I loved seeing the amount of outreach we received, and encourage more companies to do so,” said Laichak. “Right after our launch date it went off like a match. Order after orders, now that match is burning steady, and slowly each day.”

Common items include: designer T’s, pint glasses and accessories from local microbreweries, beanies and hats, food and candy from some of Alaska’s favorites, and trinkets like hiking and fishing gear. Laichak is working to embody the true spirit of Alaska in each crate.

“We don’t do foo-foo, we do Alaskan. Alaskans are a bunch of beer drinking, moose hunting, fish slaying, and mountain adventurers. We cater our crates to what it is we do in Alaska,” said Laichak. “We have plans to launch a quarterly box that will include premium gear such as hoodies, glass sets, etc. this is planned for early 2017.”

Laichak will be heading to the West Coast to attend sportsmen’s shows starting in January of 2017 to promote the boxes, and the partner companies that are involved. Laichak will be sending out press releases to each city he will be showcasing AKCC to, including Denver, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix.

“I use the word ‘we’ a lot when referring to Alaska Crate Co. It’s usually just me. I get help from friends and family when it comes to advice, but the creation, implementation, media, and social media is just me,” said Laichak

Since the launch date, the company has exceeded hopes to receive 30 subscriptions, and has received over 100 subscriptions this past week. Eighty percent of those are going to be sent out of Alaska.

“I believe Alaskans have told their friends and family about us, and got them to sign up,” said Laichak. “I would like to really get it established at home first. I have subscriptions going to Nome, Homer, Bethel, and Fairbanks currently.”

All of the crates are typical fiberboard boxes that have the AKCC logo stamped, painted, or burned into it. The crates are handmade out in Kasitsna Bay (11 miles south of Homer by boat).

“Most of our creativity and media comes from Kasitsna Bay, but we plan to adventure into the rest of Alaska to film our boxes and partners’ products too,” said Laichek. “It’s the perfect gift for yourself, spouses, friends, family, and college students from Alaska who have ventured out of state.”

They will be shipped out through USPS priority mail, and are available to be shipped internationally.

Find Alaska Crate Company online at http://www.alaskacrate.co.

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