Pat Stringer doesn’t ever remember Juneau locals being this supportive.
The owner of Glacier Silt Soaps, which has a presence at the new Franklin Food Court, said people have gone out of their way to tell her they’re glad she and a handful of other business owners have found space to operate their carts and hock their wares.
“I never realized the local support as much as I’m hearing now,” Stringer said. “It really is encouraging.”
Stringer had previously operated in the privately owned Archipelago Lot for 16 years and was among those displaced by a project to develop the area near the downtown public library.
She said she’s happy with the new location at an area commonly known as Gunakadeit Park or Pocket Park, which came as a surprise because she said she didn’t expect another locale to supplant her former longtime business site.
“There’s just a good feeling about that particular location,” Stringer said. “I like it. It feels a bit more like a community.”
Stringer’s business opened up the week of May 13, and it isn’t alone.
Dave McCasland, owner of Deckhand Dave’s Fish Tacos and the person leasing the site of the food court, said his business is also open and rolling.
Eventually, Coppa, Alaskan Crepe Escape, Glacier Smoothie Soaps, El Agave and possibly Smiley’s Old Fashioned Kettle Corn will join the soap shop and the food vendor.
McCasland said his business is poised to begin selling alcoholic beverages within a month, too.
Previously, McCasland was frustrated by the time it was taking to receive the necessary approval from the state to serve wine and beer.
He said his application has been deemed complete, and he is waiting on final approval from the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly.
So far, Stringer said things are off to a promising start.
“Our first day was really good considering we were working out the kinks with WiFi, and the card scanner” she said.
• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.