By Gretchen Wehmhoff

The challenges of operating a grocery store in Skagway sometimes means limiting the stock on hand.  

The Skagway shoppers’ plan for finding milk, eggs and fresh produce at Fairway Market meant getting to the store within a day of the weekly barge. It was a first come, first served rationale.

The main problem facing the store was a lack of refrigerated storage. There was no room in the building for back up or overstock of items needing refrigeration.

With some brainstorming with district operation managers from Alaska Commercial Company, the owners of Fairway, the problem might now be solved.

A new refrigeration unit, referred to as a reefer (the cold kind) was set up in the parking lot in front of the store. This new unit, brought in about a month ago, allows Fairway to restock produce and dairy shelves throughout the week. 

Fairway front end manager, Amanda Mixon, says it allows the store to order more for the weekly shipments.

“We’re able to order more of anything we need to keep chilled – eggs, milk. So we’re able to maintain our stock throughout the entire week,” she said.

Mixon says she knows there is an increase in sales due to the availability of chilled items  and believes that having the cold storage has made a difference in keeping the shelves stocked with dairy and produce until the next barge.


Photos by Tina Cyr