The interior of the Douglas Depot is pictured on Dec. 24, 2018. The convenience store and gas station opened in November. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

The interior of the Douglas Depot is pictured on Dec. 24, 2018. The convenience store and gas station opened in November. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Douglas Depot searches for ‘flavor’

Convenience store offers groceries, alcohol, gas

Leo Fawcett was coordinating to meet up with someone and buy a pair of earphones for his daughter for Christmas when the person suggested they meet up at the Douglas Depot.

Fawcett, who lives in the Mendenhall Valley, was surprised. He didn’t realize the convenience store, which had been closed since 2014, was open. The store has been open for a few weeks now, offering gas, groceries and alcohol in downtown Douglas.

Fawcett was one of a handful of customers on a slow Monday afternoon. Behind the counter, Paul Thibodeau knew it wouldn’t stay slow for long. People would be dropping by to pick up last-minute items for Christmas Eve.

Thibodeau’s brother Peter owns Thibodeau’s Markets, which is partnering with Crowley Fuel in the gas station and convenience store. Paul helped get the store set up, and said they’re still figuring out what exactly to include in the grocery section.

Thibodeau’s Markets owns liquor stores and convenience stores all around town, but they want to make the Douglas Depot a little distinctive.

“It’s going to have its own flavor,” Paul Thibodeau said.

They want the store to be the place for dog-walkers on Sandy Beach, for people attending hockey games at Treadwell Arena and for any other people who spend time in downtown Douglas, Thibodeau said.

[A shiny new business: Tribe-owned auto shop already proving popular]

Ownership of the store changed when Crowley bought Taku Fuel in 2014, Crowley spokesperson David DeCamp said. Crowley is a fuel distributor and doesn’t specialize in convenience stores, so they kept the gas part open and closed the convenience store. Crowley is based in Jacksonville, Florida, but has an Alaska division and is the largest fuel distributor in the state, DeCamp said.

Still, they knew that they eventually wanted to re-open the convenience store. Crowley Director of Business Development Jennifer Aklestad said in an interview Monday that they wanted to find the right local partner to help run the convenience store.

“That’s not in our wheelhouse,” Aklestad said. “When we have assets like what we have in Douglas, we are a fuel distributor, we do that stuff really well. Convenience stores, it’s just not what we do, and we make a point of partnering with people who are good at doing that.”

Eventually they worked out a deal with Thibodeau’s. The gas station shut down for a few months this year for renovations, and opened again in November. The new convenience store opened soon afterward, in early December.

The store is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The front of the store is a standard convenience store with snacks, drinks, sandwiches and toiletries. The back of the store, separated by a wooden divider and two swinging doors, is the alcohol section.

The Douglas Depot is not the only convenience store and liquor store on the island, of course. Breeze-In still has a location near the Douglas Bridge. Spokespeople for Breeze-In were not available for comment Monday on the addition of the Douglas Depot.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


The sign for the Douglas Depot is pictured on Dec. 24, 2018. The convenience store and gas station opened in November. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

The sign for the Douglas Depot is pictured on Dec. 24, 2018. The convenience store and gas station opened in November. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

More in News

Meals slated for children in Juneau over Thanksgiving weekend are arrayed on tables at Thunder Mountain High School on Nov. 25, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Luke Adams)
Font of plenty: JSD readies meals for Thanksgiving holiday

Nearly three tons of food got distributed for the long weekend.

Travelers arrive at the Juneau International Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, made up only about half of what the airport normally sees in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Centennial Hall, seen here on Tuesday, Nov. 24, is being used by the City and Borough of Juneau as an emergency facility during the coronavirus pandemic and will not host the annual Public Market which has taken place every weekend after Thanksgiving since 1983. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Want to buy Alaskan? Closed by pandemic, Public Market goes virtual

Normally throngs of Juneauites would be lined up around the block…

To capture the unexpected action- the unrepeatable moment- it should be instinctive.  In order to build the story you have to shoot the adjective.  In this photo the bald eagle had waited patiently for the right moment to pounce on an unsuspecting vole… the unexpected.  The best way to accomplish this is to master the art of the most difficult subject to photograph– birds in flight.  In order to do this you must learn your gear; it must become part of your muscle memory so you can concentrate on the story you are witnessing.  Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 150-600mm, shot at 600mm, ISO AUTO (1250), F6.3, 1/3200, Handheld. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)
Focal Point: Great photos are just waiting in the wings

Learn to shoot the verb (and the bird).

Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Construction of the new Glory Hall, above, is going smoothly, said executive director Mariya Lovishchuk on Nov. 24, 2020. (Courtesy photo / Thor Lindstam)
Building a brighter future: New Glory Hall reaches skyward

The structure is rapidly progressing, shouldering aside inclement weather.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Nov. 24

The most recent state and local numbers.

A sign seen near Twin Lakes on Sept. 17 encourages residents to wear cloth face coverings while in public. Health officials are asking Alaskans for help with contact tracing. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Health officials seek help with virus notification

Recent surge created a contact tracing backlog.

Most Read