Alumni Entrepreneurs


Dulce Ben‒East, 1988

Business/Organization/Inventions

Alaska Wild Harvest LLC, dba Kahiltna Birchworks

Type of Business

Farming, Fishing and Forestry

Date of Operation

1990-present

Description of Business or Organization

Beginning in 1990, we have harvested birch sap in Alaska sustainably for certified organic birch syrup and value added birch products. A few years later we began our harvest wild berries and local fruits for jams, syrups, and sauces. Our business has grown from 200 trees tapped to over 8000, along with harvest of local wild berries and fruits to make high quality and nutritious wild and some domestic fruit products. We sell through our website, local gift shops and specialty/food stores

Contact Information

PO Box 2267
Palmer, AK
Email

How did Evergreen prepare you for your professional life?

Although I did not complete the thesis portion of the Masters in Environmental Studies, the course work was stimulating and instructive and contributed to my life-long interest in natural resource management. I worked for the State of Alaska in natural resource management and in fisheries for several years before I moved into the Alaskan wilderness, where we started our business in order to maintain the lifestyle we love. Caring for the environment, practicing sustainable natural resource extraction and forest stewardship were all areas where my education at Evergreen became valuable. Besides my business, I have remained active in local, statewide, and national natural resource management issues having served on boards and volunteered my time and experience. My husband and I are proud of our business - as one of the only (and currently the largest) birch syrup producers in the world. Though I never would have expected to have a career in business, my profession became a perfect blending of the business experience I had before I attended Evergreen and my lifelong love of nature.