November 04, 2021
If you ask a local for recommendations on where to eat - Zudy's Cafe is usually on the list. From their freshly-sourced sandwiches to mouth-watering desserts, to the eclectic art gracing signature green walls, this cozy room in the Historic Seward Train Depot Building is none other than a must-visit when in town.
Meet Judy Odhner, owner of Zudy's Cafe. Growing, Judy's sister had trouble pronouncing her name, calling her "Zudy" - thus born the name this homey cafe dons, at the edge of Resurrection Bay here in Seward, Alaska.
Judy currently lives with her husband, Jan Odhner in Moose Pass, about 25 minutes North of Seward. But the path that brought her here was not direct. The adventure began 31 years ago, when Judy drove all the way from New York to Alaska with her friend Mary Garrett:
"We got to Alaska in the fall. Fairbanks was our first stop as I had a friend at the University. Fairbanks was not our cup of tea so we headed to Anchorage, which was also not our cup of tea.
Weeks later we landed in Moose Pass at Summit Lake Lodge caretaking for the owners during the winter. Moose Pass was teaming with heaps of good looking guys. Just up our alley."
Both Jan and Judy migrated to Alaska from upstate New York, both moving north…but ten years apart. Jan, a local carpenter met Judy at Summit Lake Lodge in Moose Pass. Judy settled in Moose Pass and hired Jan to help build her house. As Judy’s house progressed, so did their love for one another.
In 1993, the house was finished and they soon married and raised two adventurous boys. After the boys left for college, Judy pursued her dream of opening a cafe.
Twenty years later, Zudy’s Cafe was born. Located in the Historic Train Depot, Jan was able to renovate and restore the inside to a cozy little cafe with kitchen views like no other in Alaska. He continues to build, fix and maintain this beautiful building.
"My favorite thing is to come in early to Zudy’s and bake with the sun coming up.
I love working for myself and have learned heaps about people and business in these 8 years."
When asked if she had any advice for aspiring business owners, Judy replied: "Do something you love, and it will never be work."
You can see these amazing views and historic depot for yourself by visiting Zudy's Cafe at 501 Railway Ave, Seward, AK 99664. Zudy's Cafe is open majority of the year, with a few extended closures for much-deserved R&R during the winter/off-season.
February 08, 2022