Former senator opens rural Alaska grocery to lower costs

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A former U.S. senator who has been frustrated by the high prices of groceries in rural Alaska has opened a store with a goal of making the goods more affordable.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Tuesday that a company run by Mark Begich has assumed management of a grocery store in Utqiagvik, a North Slope town of 4,500 people.

Expensive groceries in rural Alaska are often inescapable due to the need for air or boat deliveries to villages disconnected from the road system.

The former Democratic lawmaker who lost a bid for governor last year says Stuaqpak Inc. plans to offer lower prices and better products.

Begich says Stuaqpak also aims to be more accountable to residents than previous owner North West Company, a publicly traded Canadian corporation.

Information from: KSKA-FM,