The community of Sitka is special, it’s why we live here, and it’s why the people who have left come back to celebrate and see their families so often.
It wasn’t the first time, but we definitely had the best time at this year’s Customer Appreciation Sale. Read more
What gets you through these short winter days and long winter nights? Does your family curl up by the fire and read books, maybe there’s a little competition around a board game or maybe you stock up on movies or have a Netflix marathon?
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, maybe you’re waiting for more snow to arrive so you can grab your cross-country skis and head outside or maybe you want to grab the kids and build a snow fort. The outdoors have so much to offer in town; it’s always a relief to take advantage of the sunlight, although it seems brief.
We asked our employees and they shared their favorite things to do:
Christy – Watch Netflix!
Angela – Ideally, it would be to build a snow fort, but we don’t have enough snow!
Tim – Drink hot cocoa!
Dennis – Hunt! Uh, I mean, cuddle with my wife and watch movies.
Ted – Get outside with the little ones, whenever we have snow to sled and play.
Whether you’re heading to Sitka Park to go sledding or curling up under a blanket to stay warm, enjoy every moment you can creating memories that will last a lifetime for your family. And, don’t forget the whipped cream and marshmallows for your cocoa!
Sitka is an amazing place.
This isn’t exactly news for anyone who has been here for any amount of time, but we just like saying it. Where else can you hike to the top of a volcano, catch a glimpse of whales doing their own cool thing, and crack open a beer with a few friends while grilling up fresh Alaskan salmon on your back patio, all in one day?
We sure do love where we live.
And in that spirit of love and adventure, which is really what life in Sitka is all about, let’s break down a few reasons why our grocery store has become a favorite Sitka gathering place over the many years we’ve been in business.
1. We are a locally-owned, family-operated company
However, our legacy extends back almost seven decades, when Clarence and Hopewell Rands opened up shop in Downtown Sitka. Many things have changed since then, but not our dedication to the people in Sitka. Money stays in our community. We are on a first-name basis with the people we serve. And our customers can always expect to receive a consistently great experience every time they walk through our doors.
2. We love the Sitka communityGiving back, as much as possible, is the best way we can show gratitude towards our community. Whether it’s supporting sports teams, education, the arts, and various local charities, giving back on a world level, or simply rocking the Captain Sea Mart costume during Sitka events, we love strengthening our beloved community and providing as many happy moments as possible.
3. We have the most scenic parking lot in America
Our ocean view parking lot is the stuff inspirational calendars are made of. No Sitka sky is ever the same. Come for the fresh food, stay for the amazing view.4. Our employees are some of the most awesome people on the face of the earth
Exceptional service is no accident. Great people, doing great work every day, is what Sitkans have come to appreciate about the Sea Mart experience. Each employee is empowered to do whatever it takes to delight our customers. We think that’s pretty cool. Did you know that many of our employees have been with Sea Mart for decades?
At Sea Mart, we’re a family.
We love being on a first-name basis with our customers. We love seeing them in the aisles every day. We love putting smiles on their faces.What we love most about the people of Sitka, though, is their love for their community. They pull together in tragedies and celebrate successes. Always ready to contribute, laugh, take in an Alaskan sunset, and break out their fishing poles at a moment’s notice, we couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be around each and every day.
Thank you for making Sitka so awesome. We love being a part of your world.
Where were you in 1978? Perhaps you were listening to the sweet tunes of the Bee Gees on your 8-track player. Or buying your first Trans Am. Maybe you were sprawled out on the shag carpet playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with your little brother. Or perhaps you weren’t even born yet.
In 1978, we were busy making Sea Mart come to life. We closed down Market Foods, where Sea Mart currently dwells, tearing everything out of it over Thanksgiving weekend. In December of 1978, Sea Mart Quality Foods opened.
For almost 37 years, Sea Mart has been serving the Sitka community by providing healthy, high-quality groceries and everyday essentials. (And don’t forget about our famous fried chicken!).
But our legacy extends back almost seven decades. It’s a classic small-town business story, really.
Back in 1949, Clarence and Hopewell Rands saw the need for a community-oriented grocery store in Sitka. Hopewell ran a music shop on Lincoln Street for 15 years prior to that and Clarence owned a construction company. They knew nothing about the grocery business.
Regardless, C.R. Rands Co. opened its doors in downtown Sitka in 1949. Service to the community was their primary philosophy, something we continue holding strong to today.
When Clarence and Hopewell’s daughter Barbara married Lloyd Hames, the new couple began the second generation of family grocers, evolving C.R. Rands Co. into Market Center. When Clarence and Hopewell retired in 1969, the Hames Corp. was formed with Lloyd Hames at the helm and a legacy was built through southeastern Alaska.
Like his in-laws, Lloyd Hames knew nothing about groceries. He once said, “I had no idea if the toilet paper goes in the canned food section, or if the milk goes in the produce department.” But what he did understand was the value of opportunity and giving back to the community. His was a mission of finding and providing only the best groceries for his customers.
He also understood the value of hard work. According to Roger Hames, his father had a straightforward approach to employing his own children when they were old enough. “Either work willingly and be paid, or work reluctantly and not get paid.” Roger decided to work willingly… never doubting that he would one day be a third generation grocer.
Many things have changed since Clarence and Hopewell Rands opened up shop in Sitka. But one thing remains the same: our dedication to our community. The Spirit of Alaska isn’t just in our store. It’s in our DNA. Forged by independence. Furthered by hard work. Rooted in a passionate legacy.
Thanks for being a part of it.
Summer is once again upon us. Warmer days. Mild nights. Flip flops come out of hiding. Boots get stuffed back into the closet. It’s time for adventure!
(Photo courtesy of Sitka Alaska Convention & Visitor’s Bureau)
We asked our Sea Mart employees, “What is your favorite thing about summer in Sitka?”
Almost immediately, “the weather” triumphed as the number one answer. Ede says, “Better weather means more hiking.” Sitka is in the heart of the world’s largest temperate rainforest. Temperatures holding steady in the 60s, light breezes blowing in off of the ocean, not too hot, not too cold…it’s perfect for many Sitkans. Svetlana loves the gentle summer weather and Carlos is looking forward to the longer Alaskan days!
What Alaska summer would be complete without outdoor adventures? From hiking to fishing, to camping, to kayaking, to hunting, to mountain biking, the list goes on and on. But, one thing is for certain, Sitkans love being outside, and a Sitka summer offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the hidden-gem, rugged beauty of our beloved city. Nick is especially excited to get more hiking in this summer, and Nikita is gearing up for another fabulous season of camping.
During the summer, word gets out about Sitka’s sunshine and natural beauty. This brings in people wanting to experience it for themselves. Dennis loves meeting new people from out-of-town and listening to their stories. And Andrew enjoys the variety of people passing through. People-watching has practically become a sport in our treasured town. Downtown becomes especially busy during the summer, as tourists flock to the quaint businesses to fall in love with Sitka-life firsthand. And the aisles at Sea Mart become busier as both Sitkans and visitors stock up on everything they need to make their summer more awesome.
What did we miss? Tell us in the comments about why you love Sitka in the summer!
Summer is knocking on Sitka’s door and you know what that means… time to fire up the grill and invite the neighbors over for beer, belly laughs and delicious food.
“She walks through the doors and grabs a cart. Heading towards the deli, there is hope in her heart that our famous fried chicken hasn’t been snatched up. Luckily, we made an extra batch that afternoon.