Plan the Perfect Picnic

It’s picnic season in Sitka and Sea Mart has all of your picnic planning needs. Need some ideas for where to picnic and what to pack? Look no further!

Hiking Picnic

Picnic Rock – Substitute a wicker basket for a backpack and climb 2,550 ft on this 5-mile round trip hike to the aptly named Picnic Rock. You know what to do once you arrive! After you’ve rolled the picnic blanket back up and got your second wind, keep going an extra mile to summit Mount Verstovia (AKA Mt Arrowhead).

Picnic Plan – For extraneous hikes, you’ll want to be sure to bring plenty of snacks and water for along the way.

Side Options (for the hike-in and out):
• Protein bar
• Nuts
• Jerky
• Dried fruits

Main Dish Options:
• Pre-made tuna salad sandwiches – Toast the bread until crunchy to avoid sogginess, layer iceberg or romaine lettuce between the bread and tuna salad. A French baguette halved can work nicely for perfect picnic sandwiches.
• Pre-made black bean burritos – Another great option! Double wrap it to keep dry, slather in refried black or pinto beans, avocado, tomato, or any of your favorite veggies and/or cheese.

Seaside Picnic

Halibut Point Recreation Site – Just four miles from downtown Sitka, this is a popular picnic area amongst locals and visitors alike. There are covered picnic shelters, tables, and a half mile hiking trail to peruse the coastal forest. The beach area is a great spot to play in the inter-tidal zone.

Picnic Plan – Drive up picnicking affords a lot more options than hiking in. You can bring a camp stove if you’d like, large cooler, and all the comforts from home you can fit in your car. To keep it simple and get you out of the house and outdoors quickly, here is a picnic plan;

Side Options:
• Macaroni or Potato Salad
• Cold Pasta Salad
• Watermelon








Main Dish Options:
• Fried chicken (you know ours is the best!)- Serve it cold!
• Veggie Sandwich – a thin layer of mayo, and add your favorite veggies, try; dill, tomato, avocado, microgreens, cucumber, and jack cheese.








Other great picnic spots in Sitka

• Starrigavan Recreation Area – A nice boardwalk to enjoy the wildlife, perfect for a picnic followed by a stroll near the beach.

• Harbor Mountain Road and Recreation Area – Enjoy a picnic with an outstanding view of Mt. Edgecumbe.

Don’t forget some sunblock and a frisbee!

Father’s Day on a Budget

You don’t have to skimp when on a budget for Dad, you can have a gourmet grill-fest with these fun ideas to make it affordable and still extra special! Think, bacon and beer! Keep it simple. Try a bacon wrapped steak for a cheap “filet mignon” or even bacon wrapped hot dogs!










How to make any cut of steak into “filet mignon

Try this simple trick to turn any cut of steak into a juicy tender filet. An age-old process that was used by kosher butchers called “koshering” the meat”. What is it?


A simple salting one hour before cooking and Dad is in for a tenderized treat (don’t forget to try it wrapped with bacon!)

Make sure you purchase the coarse sea salt or kosher salt, as this will result in the tenderest meat. Why salt? It draws out the juices and dissolves, which will create a brine resulting in mouthwatering flavor and tenderness.

But don’t wait too long! One hour or overnight is okay, but salting is all in the timing. Another magical salty trick is when you leave salted meat for weeks or even months, which will do the opposite and wick away all the moisture left in the meat leaving it dry-cured and delicious, in a different way!








How to fix up your cut:

Cover both sides of the steak with enough sea salt (1 tsp or more per side, depending on size of steak) to hide the surface completely (do not use fine salt, it must be coarse). Work the salt in with your fingers, gently massage the salt into the meat. Forget about it for about an hour at room temp and voila! Rinse the salt off completely and you’ll immediately see a more tender darker colored meat. Pat the meat dry and grill to your liking.

Go for gusto and wrap a sirloin with bacon, secure with a toothpick, and you’ve got a filet mignon” on the cheap!








How to make bacon-wrapped hot dogs

What you’ll need:

Hot dog buns

Hot dogs


Favorite toppings such as pinto beans, relish, onions, jalapenos, mustard or mayo

It’s as easy as the title suggests, pick out your favorite dogs, roll them up in bacon, and grill or sauté til they are as crispy as you like! Pile on your favorite toppings and make it your own!








Whichever method you choose, don’t forget some potato chips for an easy side, and the beers! Have a fun Father’s Day weekend!


Happy Father’s Day!




bear eating fried chicken

Get outside while you’re at work – today!

With summer here, we’ll take any sunny day (or hour) to jump outside and soak in the rays. We encourage you to take a break from your desk this summer and get outside on your lunch break with your co-workers. We live in such a stunning community, it’s hard to not find a bench and watch the waves roll whenever we can. Plus, it helps build a strong team, and it’s even a nice way to have a meeting once in a while. Make the most of your time outside and make sure you’re ready whenever the clouds decide to lift so you can jump on it!

Mason Jar Salad

Mason Jar Salads

It seems like anything in a mason jar is popular these days. Not only do mason jar salads make healthy lunch choices, but these are easy to transport and perfect for a lunch outside. Some of our favorite fixings are egg, bacon, spinach, shredded carrots, edamame, cabbage, beans, peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Wash and prep all your ingredients on Sunday so you can mix and match them to make several different salads available throughout your week. Don’t forget the dressing and fork! Once you’re ready to eat just dump in the dressing, shake it up and munch away.


Taco Salad

Did you know we have Taco Tuesday in our deli? Grab a container, load up all your favorite toppings and head outside to our wall to break up your day. Tacos can be a fresh and delicious lunch option. Plus, you can make it healthier by skipping the tortilla shells and just going with fresh veggies and meat. Bonus points if you snag a picture of the Mt. Edgecumbe view and tag us on Facebook or Instagram.

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

We aren’t the only ones who love our fried chicken. We’ve been told it’s the best in Sitka, and it wasn’t by Captain Sea Mart. Our fried chicken and sides make for a warm, hearty meal whether you are lunching inside our café on a rainy day, sitting outside on a picnic bench or heading out on your boat to do some fishing. Wherever your lunch break takes you, don’t forget the chicken!

And, don’t forget the sunscreen! Even on an overcast day you can still get a sunburn. Here’s to warm days and warm nights this summer! Share your favorite lunch ideas in the comments below.

Start Your Garden

As gardening trends continue to rise in Sitka, Sea Mart is always at the forefront of supporting our community. Did you know that we purchase produce from local growers to supplement our shipments? We’re always trying to grow our community and support local where we can. With the warmer weather last year, several gardens in town were plentiful. Here are some tips on getting your Sitkan garden to grow well this summer.

  • Start seedlings in your home, so you have a head start on growth once it warms up outside.
  • Greens grow well here – think broccoli, cabbage, chard, and lettuce. They tend to be hardier and take the cooler temperatures in
  • If you love carrots, plant green onions near them to keep the pests away. Plus, onions grow shallow, so they make great companions to deep-rooted
  • Soil growers are also successful in our climate, so plant those potatoes!
  • If you love herbs, try planting them in pots. Not only can you bring them inside on cool summer nights, but you can also keep them year round.
  • Marigolds are well-known for keeping the bugs away, add them to the perimeter of your flower beds to keep your vegetables pest free.
  • Be mindful about each plant’s growing window, we love using the Farmer’s Almanac as our guideline:


  • Seafood scraps are an excellent fertilizer for plants; add your scraps and compost into your compost bin to make a great food source for all your plants.
  • Since we’re in bear country, be sure you’re using a bear proof composting bin just in case you do get any unwelcomed friends in your garden (this will help protect your vegetables too).

This is just a quick list of some fun tips to get you started as you begin planning out your garden. For more information, listen to Mollie Kabler and Kitty LaBounty during their garden show on KCAW- Raven Radio, from 8:30-9am, on Wednesdays through June. These two have so many tips and tricks. Plus, you can call in and ask questions!


Please remember, Sea Mart is always in support of local growers and encourages locals to stop by the customer service desk to see if we can purchase your veggies. Let us know what you’re planting in the comments below and please share any tips and tricks you may have as well!

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Spread the love at Sea Mart.

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What’s your favorite thing to do during the winter?

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!

Why Do People Love Sea Mart? Check Out The Top 5 Reasons

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

SM storefrontFor 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!)

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 communitySM Captain SeaMartGiving 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.SM parking lot photo4. 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.

SM Managers pic5. Our customers rock our world

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.SM customersWhat 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.

The Spirit of Alaska is in Our DNA

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.

July 1(Sitka, c. 1949)

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.

July 2When 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.

July 3

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.

Why Summer in Sitka is so Awesome

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!

June Photo 1

(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.

June Photo 2


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!