Alaskan Grocer Makes Weekly 14-Hour Boat Trip to Supply Entire Town

Alaskan Grocer Makes Weekly 14-Hour Boat Trip to Supply Entire Town
Toshua Parker/Facebook

A man in Gustavus, Alaska, is doing whatever it takes to make sure his entire town is fed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When the state’s ferry system shut down because of the health crisis, Toshua Parker, the owner of Icy Strait Wholesale, was unable to get shipments of supplies from the Costco in Juneau to restock his store, according to WBAL-TV.

However, with no alternative delivery method and 450 residents in the remote area depending on him, Parker took matters into his own hands.

“Alaskans are fiercely independent and resourceful; you really have to be to survive here. So when a problem arises, we don’t typically look to someone else for help, we just find a way to do it,” he said.

Working with his employees and local fishermen, the grocer has made the 50-mile boat trip to Juneau in a 96-foot-long converted military landing craft nearly once a week since February, according to a Facebook post:

The wind’s on our stern and home’s on the horizon… Here come the groceries!

Posted by Toshco – Icy Strait Wholesale on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Prior to each journey, Parker took orders by phone and kept a list of everything his neighbors asked him to buy.

“It’s like Christmas when the load gets here. Everyone is waiting for it. Word gets out, and they all seem to know when it’s coming,” he explained.

May 5, the store locals also refer to as ToshCo, shared a photo of its shelves full of ammunition and assured residents that there was plenty to go around:

As the rest of the U.S. contemplates meat shortages, ToshCo stocks up on hunting ammunition. We learned our lesson after…

Posted by Toshco – Icy Strait Wholesale on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

“We learned our lesson after the last national unrest and ordered tons of handgun and rifle ammunition the minute this pandemic took hold. So while ammunition may be scarce or even non-existent in most places, ToshCo has you covered!” the post read.

Recently, Gustavus Mayor Calvin Casipit expressed his thanks to the grocer for his dedication to the community’s well-being.

“Toshua pretty much saved the town. I really don’t know what we would’ve done without him,” he stated.

However, Parker gave the majority of the praise to his staff who worked hard every day for their neighbors.

“Just another day in our world. Next year it will be another obstacle to overcome and we’ll buck up and deal with it,” he concluded.

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