“Love, Anchorage” box is the newest trend in buying local

Two Anchorage nonprofits found a way for customers to buy locally and stay socially distant.
Two Anchorage nonprofits found a way for customers to buy locally and stay socially distant.(Courtesy of Love, Anchorage)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 6:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While the hunker down order was in place, businesses closed for the safety of residents. It was unclear how long that phase would last, so two nonprofits decided to start a project that would allow people to stay safe at home while supporting local businesses. It’s called the “Love, Anchorage” box.

“This was definitely driven by COVID and the shutdowns and the need for business owners to find new ways to get their products into customer’s hands,” Kirk Rose, CEO of Anchorage Community Land Trust, said.

The box went on sale Monday and is selling “like hotcakes” Rose said. In the first 12 hours of its release for purchase, Rose said around 100 boxes were sold.

The “Love, Anchorage” box is a project spearheaded by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and the Anchorage Community Land Trust. The two nonprofit organizations had originally put 250 boxes up for sale Monday, and after receiving a good response from the community, the organizations are considering how to continue to support those businesses.

“It’s 100% all local,” Rose said. “We are very purposely not Amazon and what we’re doing is buying from local retailers, trying to put as much money as possible into their pockets, and we are packaging it up in a unique way and it putting out for sale from the community.”

Here’s how it works. Interested customers can go to the project website and choose a coffee or tea box. The boxes cost $50 and include six products from local businesses.

“You have names that everyone will recognize but you also have really unique smaller scale vendors like Dana Mae’s Cookies,” Rose said.

Customers can pick up the box in Midtown Anchorage or, if they are an Anchorage resident, have the box delivered.

There are 15 different vendors featured in the boxes but each one is packaged a little differently. A customer could receive stickers from Hulin Alaskan Designs or Stephan Fine Arts. The next box may feature art from Side Street Espresso, Tasha the Artist or The Writer’s Block Bookstore and Cafe.

Sweets and savory treats are also in the “Love, Anchorage” boxes with vendors like Birdwings Fine Chocolate, Dana Mae’s Cookies, Sweet Creations Lollipop Boutique or Lei’s Poke Stop.

The beverages come from The Kobuk and Uncle Leroy’s Coffee. Home goods from Sara’s Gift Cache or Tiny Gallery may also be found in the box.

Even if the boxes do sell out, Rose hopes this project sends a message to residents to buy local and support community businesses.

Update: all 250 boxes have sold out as of this update Wednesday.

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