Toshua Parker, a grocer in Alaska, travels to the state's capital by boat to make sure his town's residents have all the essentials they need.
If you have been complaining about only being able to go on a weekly grocery run and not being able to get your hands on the foods your family usually likes to eat, wait till you get a load of this guy. Toshua Parker, a grocer in Alaska, has to take a 14 hour-long boat ride to his nearest Costco in order to make sure his small town of Gustavus has essential food and supplies. He heads to the branch in Juneau, the state's capital (which is about 50 miles away), with his staff members every single week, CNN reports.
Parker and his team complete the journey on a 96 feet long converted military landing craft. This is the only way that he can ensure the people of Gustavus have everything they need to get through the ongoing pandemic. Gustavus, a coastal community that borders Glacier Bay National Park, is home to a total of 450 residents. The Alaskan man's grocery store, referred to as ToshCo by the locals, is the only place they have to stock up on groceries. While Costco would usually ship the items to Parker's store aboard the state's ferry system, this is no longer possible.
This is due to two reasons. Firstly, the outbreak has choked supply chains and logistics, and secondly, the city's dock has been severely damaged due to intense storms. As there is no alternative to his usual delivery system, Parker made the decision to replenish depleting stocks all by himself. "It's funny because for us, this doesn't seem like a big deal," he said in an interview with CNN. "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."
Nonetheless, he wasn't completely alone. His staff members and the city's local fishermen have been helping the small business owner out. He schedules his journeys around the tides and weather and has made a trip to the Juneau Costco every single week since the beginning of March. Once Parker and his team arrive at the Costco, they purchase essential foods and other supplies and then load them onto the boat they arrived in. If a storm hits while they head back to Gustavus, they simply turn around, unload the groceries into coolers, and wait until the bad weather ends. Eventually, they will reload the supplies and attempt the trip back to Gustavus once again.
As one would assume, the locals of his hometown have been incredibly grateful to Parker for all of his efforts. However, he believes his employees are the ones who deserve all the praise. He rained down compliments on his staff for "going to work every day during this pandemic to make sure our town stays supplied." Ultimately, the grocer believes his town will confront any obstacles and do everything in their capability to survive. He affirmed, "The town needed to be supplied with groceries so we just did whatever it took to make that happen. Just another day in our world. Next year it will be another obstacle to overcome and we'll buck up and deal with it."