Starting next month, Haines Junction residents will be able to buy more food in town.
Richard and Rose Mazur, who own the Kluane RV Kampground, will be stocking the shelves in the campground’s main building with some fresh produce, meat, eggs, milk and toiletries.
It’s “not a great big store,” said Richard, who said he made the decision to add groceries to the business a few weeks ago. Every year, thousands of tourists stop at the campground. It’s difficult to serve them when there’s no grocery store in town, he said. He hopes to start selling the items by May 1, in time for tourist season, he said.
But the additional items will also help local residents. The Junction has been without a grocery store since Madley’s General Store shut its doors in fall 2011.
“Being without a store has been a real inconvenience,” said Mayor George Nassiopoulos. The local gas station stocks “basic stuff,” like milk and eggs, he said. Like many residents, he has to drive about two hours to Whitehorse for groceries. But for many seniors in town, that’s not a possibility.
“We’ve been really in dire need of a store for a while now,” he said. It’s been hard to promote the town when it doesn’t have a store, he said.
Over a year ago, a group of residents starting making plans for a co-op in town. But that initiative died a number of months ago, said Nassiopoulos.
“It’d be nice to know that there’s at least one (grocery store) being planned for,” he said.