Discussion posted by: David McNamara
COVID-19 is impacting grocery store supply chains and demand schedules in both big cities and rural communities across America—but for Gustavus, an icy seaside town 7 hours from Juneau, Alaska, the disruption is a much more serious matter. In late April, the town’s grocer set off from Gustavus in a small barge en route to the world’s most remote Costco warehouse. After 7 hours, Toshua Parker reached Juneau, where he loaded pallets containing $20,000 worth of eggs, flour, meat, canned goods, produce—and, we assume, toilet paper. For the lone grocer, it’s what is required to run his small store called Ice Strait Wholesale—also, fondly known as ‘Toshco’—which keeps his 446 neighbors fed. It’s a huge challenge, as the isolation of the town presents difficulties only Alaskans can understand.