MTPR

Can Do: The Fickle Business Of Sushi

Jan 11, 2019

In 2009 Drake Doepke was living in Kauai as a self-described “beach bum” when he decided to move back to Montana and open a sushi restaurant. Nine years later and without any prior business experience, Doepke owns three successful Asian restaurants in Montana.

Learn from Doepke about the "trails by fire" of starting a business from scratch, on this episode of "Can Do: Lessons From Savvy Entrepreneurs" with Arnie Sherman.

Doepke launched his business as a summer-only sushi shop in Bigfork. Eventually, it garnered enough attention to stay open throughout the year. Still, Bigfork's off-season can be tough, so in 2017 Doepke expanded to Missoula, where the year-round clientele offered a steadier trade. But expansion isn’t a snap.

“Sushi is a fickle, fickle beast,” according to Doepke. “You can only go so large without hitting on a quality loss, in my opinion.”

With an equally strong love for ramen, Doepke opened two restaurants in Missoula – SakeTome Sushi upstairs and Michi Ramen downstairs.

Listen as Doepke talks about the alchemy of crafting a coherent customer experience of food, service and ambiance.