A fire scorched the Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis Parkway near East 37th Avenue early Wednesday morning, the Anchorage Fire Department said.
The stand was ransacked before it was set on fire, said Linda Loyd, who owns the Sugar Shack with her husband Gary.
"It's awful," she said. "We've had break-ins before but to actually start it on fire -- what's the sense in doing that?"
The AFD received an initial call about the fire at 4:04 a.m. on Wednesday, said spokesman Al Tamagni.
Twelve fire units initially responded. The blaze was under control by 4:15 a.m., he said.
The fire is considered suspicious and is being investigated as arson, Tamagni said.
The Loyds, who own another Sugar Shack location on Fifth Avenue near Karluk Street, said their businesses had been broken into a handful of times in the 15 years they've been in business. The Sugar Shack was one of the first Anchorage espresso stands, Loyd said.
"Usually the people who break in just take some muffins or cookies or Red Bull or something," she said.
AFD investigators estimated losses at $30,000 but Loyd said she believed the costs to rebuild would be much more.
"As far as we can tell the contents are a total loss," said Loyd. "The espresso machines alone are $15,000."
The owners have insurance and say they plan to reopen as soon as possible.
Surveillance video of the stand has been turned over to police, Loyd said.
Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4344.
By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS