Three Peaks celebrates two years in the food biz

Mar 20, 2021

Joe Spady started Three Peaks Mercantile in 2019. Before that, he owned Joe's Meatball Shoppe in Soldotna.
Credit Sabine Poux/KDLL

There is perhaps no better time to start a culinary business than on Pie Day, or March 14. That's when Joe Spady opened Three Peaks Mercantile, an eatery and shop next to Artzy Junkin in Soldotna. He celebrated the business’s second anniversary this week.

Spady sells sandwiches, salads and, of course, pies out of the converted cottage.

But Three Peaks is also a museum of local art and food. There’s a felted vegetable mobile from local artist Ana Scollon and maple syrup made from Byrd family trees. The tables and walls are decked out with work from peninsula painters.

It’s also where Spady holds his supper club.

“It’s a themed, five-course meal that usually is around — we like to have a table of 12, is kind of our sweet spot, we’ve found," he said. "Usually, with a table of 12, at one point during the dinner it becomes a singular conversation and all 12 of these people are sharing one moment together around the table. There’s just no better way to build community than around a table.”

Supper Club meets monthly, though they took some months off last year. Spady themes the dinners, like “Harry Potter” or “cajun food.”

“One night we were the only Indian restaurant on the peninsula, we thought was fun," he said.

The meals are open to anyone with a ticket, but organized through a private Instagram and Facebook group. It allows the chefs to use homemade cheeses and wild game and avoid restrictions placed on restaurants.

Spady’s excited about that local food aspect of the business. He grew up in Soldotna.

“I think our food scene has grown immensely," he said. "We grew up with a lot of fantastic staples that were just a huge part of our community. And we were OK with just having that. Like really good diner staples, very much American-Italian food and good pizza and things like that were great growing up. And then I remember in, I wanna say high school or so, was when the first sushi place opened. And everyone lost their mind. And then people realized how amazing sushi is, and then we had a ton of sushi restaurants.”

Going forward, Spady’s working with a new chef at Three Peaks to take over day to day so he can focus more on hosting supper clubs and cooking for small events.

And, of course, he’s still baking pies.

“I almost always have a pie going, whether just fresh normal pies or I do have my key lime pies, have kind of become a staple over the last couple years," he said.

Key lime is definitely a favorite.

“If I don’t have it, people get upset. And I don’t want to make anyone upset.”