Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire 
Midgi Moore, CEO of Juneau Food Tours, holds up a Taste Alaska! Alaska Sweetheart Box inside Juneau Food Tours’ new location on Shattuck Way. The boxes, which were launched in June, are a way for Juneau Food Tours to give people a taste of the capital city amid the pandemic.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire Midgi Moore, CEO of Juneau Food Tours, holds up a Taste Alaska! Alaska Sweetheart Box inside Juneau Food Tours’ new location on Shattuck Way. The boxes, which were launched in June, are a way for Juneau Food Tours to give people a taste of the capital city amid the pandemic.

Thinking inside the box: Food tour business has new location, delivery product

Delivery box gives people a taste of Alaska wherever they are.

Midgi Moore has been giving visitors a taste of the capital city via Juneau Food Tours since 2014.

COVID-19 changed that.

But with fewer visitors able to come to the food, Moore, who is Juneau Food Tours’ CEO, decided to start sending food to the people in a delivery box service that launched in June.

“It really took off,” Moore said.

In November, Moore moved the business from the Merchant’s Wharf to a spot on Shattuck Way. By moving the business, Moore secured a storefront that’s open to walk-in customers, tripled her square footage and eliminated carrying heavy boxes of food stuffs up and down stairs.

Midgi Moore, CEO of Juneau Food Tours, stocks a shelf inside the business’s new downtown location on Shattuck Way. The new space allows Juneau Food Tours to have an easily accessible storefront and more easily prepare Taste Alaska! boxes. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Midgi Moore, CEO of Juneau Food Tours, stocks a shelf inside the business’s new downtown location on Shattuck Way. The new space allows Juneau Food Tours to have an easily accessible storefront and more easily prepare Taste Alaska! boxes. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“I really like the idea of someone being able to come in,” Moore said. She added that a store front was in Juneau Food Tours’ 10-year plan, but it was accelerated by a pandemic-related shift in focus.

The walk-in option allows for the possibility of foot traffic, and it also grants customers the chance to see the Alaska-made wares and packaging options for Taste Alaska! boxes. The boxes, which are available as a subscription service, one-offs and as part of a virtual experience online, will remain an option even once visitors can safely return, Moore said.

[Online shopping helps local retailers continue to exist]

However, in the meantime, Moore said people physically in town wishing to create a welcome basket, find a gift or sample Alaska-made foods from other places in the state may prefer the level of customization available through an in-person visit. The shelves inside Juneau Food Tours include pastel tin boxes and cheery hat boxes for holding edible products such as fudge, fireweed honey and more.

“It’s kind of like going to a florist with food,” Moore said, but noted container options for out-of-town customers are limited to the boxes the goods ship in.

Moore said she is always looking for new partners to include in the Taste Alaska! boxes. She can be reached at midgi@juneaufoodtours.com.

A collection of items that can be included inside a Taste Alaska! box sit on top of a table inside Juneau Food Tours on Saturday, Jan. 23. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

A collection of items that can be included inside a Taste Alaska! box sit on top of a table inside Juneau Food Tours on Saturday, Jan. 23. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

“My goal is to be your best customer,” Moore said of the businesses that provide products for the food boxes or stops on a food tour during normal years.

Existing partners include local businesses such as Harbor Tea & Spice.

“It’s great for us. We really enjoy being part of anybody’s putting our products out there,” said Janice McCann, owner of Harbor Tea & Spice, in a phone interview. “It helps us. It helps them.”

McCann said her business has been holding up throughout the pandemic and that she was encouraged by holiday season sales.

“I think Juneau people have decided they’re going to shop more local, but we found especially over the holidays and that, it was really good,” McCann said.

Still, she said it’s good having an extra source of revenue and awareness from being included in the Taste Alaska! boxes.

Moore said that’s what the business is all about.

“I’m doing everything I can to promote Juneau and Juneau small businesses,” she said.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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