A grocery store owner in Alaksa is now considered the savior of his small town after keeping his neighborhood stocked with supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. Toshua Parker, who owns Icy Strait Wholesale in Gustavas, loads shipping crates onto a boat and makes a weekly 14-hour, 50-mile trip to Costco in Juneau to source groceries for his town.
Parker normally receives shipments via Alaska’s ferry service, but the pandemic, coupled with severe storms that destroyed the town’s dock, caused the ferry to stop operating. Now, he personally picks up $30,000 worth of food to keep his town supplied.
Gustavas began running out of supplies as soon as it went into lockdown. The town is so small that it has no roads and is only accessible by private plane or boat, which makes for limited supply chains, even in the best of times. Parker took that job into his own hands, borrowing a 96-foot converted military craft from a local fisherman.
According to Gustavus Mayor Casipit, “Toshua pretty much saved the town. I really don’t know what we would’ve done without him.” Read more about his heroic ventures here.