“The repairs are significant enough that we required the store to be closed until they can be completed," said Cameron Poindexter, CEO and president of one of the store's owners, Choggiung Ltd.
The N&N Market — one of three grocery stores in Dillingham — is closed for the foreseeable future.
Parts of the building are in disrepair, according to Choggiung Ltd., the village corporation for Dillingham, Ekuk and Portage Creek.
Choggiung owns the store along with Sea Lion Corp., Hooper Bay's village corporation, under the partnership N&N Property LLC.
“The repairs are significant enough that we required the store to be closed until they can be completed," said Cameron Poindexter, president and CEO of Choggiung. "I’d just say that we’re eager to reopen the store and resume normal store hours as soon as we can.”
Poindexter declined to say what the store’s damage was, and doesn’t have a reopening date.
He pointed out that repairs can take longer in rural areas because there are fewer available contractors and other qualified professionals.
N&N’s closure means communities can’t do bush orders through that store.
Summer construction on Dillingham’s downtown roads made it difficult for customers to get to the store, Poindexter added. But that also means it’s not the worst time to close for repairs.
“People’s access to the store has been limited. And so we’re taking this opportunity to make sure that these repairs are done right,” he said.
The store will compensate employees during the closure, and Choggiung's CEO Poindexter hopes they return when it reopens.
"We've offered an economic benefit to hopefully help keep them whole through this, or as whole as we possibly can," he said.
The building is about 50 years old.
Robin Samuelsen, a founding co-owner of N&N, said its history goes back to Birdie’s Market, a store owned and run by Bertie and Mike Hoseth. Carl and Peter Nelson bought it in 1968.
They operated out of Birdie’s Market, on the site of the current N&N building for several months. Then, a fire at a co-op building down the street prompted them to renovate the co-op and move the store there.
Samuelson joined, and the trio operated out of the co-op building for several years, until the early 70s.
“We soon outgrew that store and decided to build the big N&N market," he said. "We tore down a couple houses and tore down the old N&N market that was purchased from the Hoseth’s.”
In 2015, then-owner Omni Enterprise closed N&N. Choggiung Ltd. and Sea Lion's United Companies Inc. reopened the store under the partnership N&N Property LLC (UCI owns 51%, and Choggiung is a silent partner, with 49%). The village corporations already owned the building and property when they took over the store.
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