Letter: Lack of grocery produce

Recently I heard a lady complaining about small amount of veggies in a local produce department and I happen to know that this lady has only been in Southeast for a very short time. I wanted to defend the store, so I told her “just wait until winter.”

New residents need to really realize that the only way in and out of here is by air and by water and what that means for them and their expectations. The barges are slow, the ferries break down, the airplanes can’t fly in lots of weather. No matter what any store does, there is always a chance that Mother Nature or mechanics are going to ruin your day by not having something you want. Learn that Juneau is not the Lower 48, and schedules that work for them probably won’t work here. All the order models in the world won’t account for all the microclimates that food and supplies have to go through getting here, any one of which will stop the process. Bread has to be frozen, meat, fruit, veggies have to arrive by a certain time, there is no guarantee that will happen when getting to Juneau. When it arrives wilted, bruised, etc, it isn’t put out for customers. Embrace it, tell the people who work at the store that you understand. Don’t make their life harder; the food managers and assistants are trying to serve you in a timely manner.

I remember seven years ago that Juneau was without any service for 13 days because of fog — no mail, no bills, no food coming in (that’s why we have stocked pantries), nothing including people in or out. So know that the people in Juneau who are actually running the stores do a great job with working with weather and time constraints. If you were looking for a lamp, it wouldn’t be so obvious that there wasn’t one available. The food workers have the most visible job and the hardest. It helps that some stores put out signs saying that “due to whatever the circumstances, item not available.” It doesn’t help you if you need oregano for your dinner, but at least you know it isn’t the store’s fault.

When you can’t find something at one grocery, you may be lucky and another happens to have it in stock, but you probably won’t find it anywhere else. Everyone has to bow to Mother Nature’s whims.

Mary Goode,