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Store Owner From Alaska Makes Weekly 14-Hour Boat Trips To Costco to Buy Supplies For City During Pandemic



  • Toshua Parker who owns the Icy Strait Wholesale in the City of Gustavus, Alaska, decided to take weekly trips to Costco to refill supplies.
  • Gustavus is accessible only through boat or plane, and with the current pandemic and the storms, the delivery of supplies has stopped.
  • So, he and his team decided to do the 14-hour weekly trip to make sure the supplies for the people are enough.

Amid the global pandemic, an Alaskan man refuses to let his people go hungry—that is why he takes a boat trip to Costco once every week.

Toshua Parker, a resident from the City of Gustavus in Alaska, has started taking boat trips going to the Juneau Costco every week since March in order to restock the food supplies for the people in his small city—which is only accessible through a plane or boat, according to a CNN report.

Toshua owns Icy Strait Wholesale and it’s the only place the people in Gustavus can buy groceries from. Together with his staff, they travel 50 miles to the state’s capital using a 96-foot long converted military landing craft for a total of 14 hours going forth and back.

Source: Toshua Parker

“It’s funny because for us, this doesn’t seem like a big deal,” Toshua told CNN. “Alaskans are fiercely independent and resourceful; you really have to be to survive here.”

“When a problem arises, we don’t typically look to someone else for help, we just find a way to do it,” he said.

Before the virus outbreak, Toshua’s store usually receives delivery of stocks through Alaska’s ferry system from the local Costco. But the operation of the ferry stopped when the pandemic came and the storms damaged the city’s dock severely.

Because of that, the people were worried about the supply of food and other necessities dwindling. Toshua and his team just can’t let that happen, so they took action, thus the weekly long boat trips.

“The town needed to be supplied with groceries so we just did whatever it took to make that happen,” Toshua told CNN. “Just another day in our world.”

When the weather gets bad during a trip, they turn around and stay in Juneau until it’s safe again to travel. 

“No reason for panic buying. Our supply chain may be occasionally delayed but it’s holding,” Parker posted a photo on Facebook of the supplies for “ToshCo” as what the residents in Gustavus fondly call his store. “We’ve got you covered Gustavus!” 

Although Toshua is getting a lot of praise for what he’s done, he said his employees are the real heroes.


Source: PEOPLE