The success of Larsen Bay’s seasonal cannery store, Larsen Bay Mercantile, often depends on trends in the salmon season.
The better the season, the better the business, says owner Mark Thissen.
“For example, comparing with last year where the salmon catch was quite small, you can see it reflected in sales at the store. And then of course a good year like this past year, the sales match that.”
Last year’s pink salmon season was so bad that it earned a federal disaster declaration. Kodiak is still trying to get the funds to recover from it.
Thissen says during this improved salmon season, Icicle Seafoods employees worked longer hours and tended to shop more frequently and more expensively: steak and vegetables as opposed to fish and rice.
“Other years they’ll kind of hold back. And then you sell more other stuff too if people are making more money. More sweatshirts and novelty items.”
The Larsen Bay Mercantile closed for the year on Sept 10, and Thissen is headed back to Colorado, where he and his wife run an inn.
He’s a former Kodiak resident and has owned the store for 23 years. He’ll be back in May 2018 for the store’s next summer season.