Settling on a name can be one of the more challenging aspects of launching a new business. Sometimes it can take months of thought and trials. Then there’s Anchorage cannabis shop Dankorage. According to co-owner Lily Bosshart, the name arrived serendipitously, with help from a habit she developed in her earlier work experience.

“It came about in an early owners meeting,” Bosshart recalled. “My previous career was as a kindergarten teacher and as such, I’m in the habit of working through word families in my head …. e.g., cat, sat, bat or pan, man, fan. We were all sitting around the table thinking of names and in my head I was working through the “Anchorage" word family. All of the sudden ‘Dankorage’ popped out of my mouth, the table went silent, and we all immediately knew that was it.”

“Dank,” of course, is a widely used term to describe powerful and pungent marijuana. According to the popular website Weedmaps, “Dank can refer to the high quality of a particular product and a specific aroma of cannabis.” So, morphing the word with Anchorage created a perfect hybrid. Bosshart said the name has been a hit with locals and visitors alike. “The customers love the name,” she said. “We feel very fortunate about that.” She added that, “we get people in (the store) every single day who come just because they like the name.”

Many of those customers are visitors to Alaska who want “both an Alaskan souvenir and a cannabis souvenir, and Dankorage does both,” Bosshart explained. “We get a lot of out-of-towners who come from states where cannabis is not legal. They did a little research before they came in, and ours is the shop that they felt like they had to come to, because of the name.”

The company’s logos are as attention-grabbing as the name. They’re predominantly black with narrow, horizontal bands of white and three shades of green, with iconic Alaskan images of a salmon on one version and a mountain on the other. They were designed by Mike Kirkpatrick, owner of Anchorage–based Screamin’Yeti Designs, who Bosshart described as “awesome.”

While branding any new business can often be a hurdle, for Bosshart and her partners at Dankorage, the name was perfect and they never looked back. “Choosing our store name was by far the easiest, quickest, and most uncontested decision we made as business owners. We are so thankful that puzzle piece fell into place so naturally, as every other aspect of this start-up has been the hardest work of our lives!”

David James is a freelance writer in Fairbanks. Questions about this story? Contact

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