Longtime Anchorage Christmas tree shop, Minnesota Bob’s, closes its doors

The owner of Minnesota Bob's announced the closure of the business in 2020.
The owner of Minnesota Bob's announced the closure of the business in 2020.(Minnesota Bob's)
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 10:49 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Holiday staple Minnesota Bob’s, a wintertime shop known for its out-of-state Christmas tree and trinket offerings, has closed its doors after a tumultuous year for its owner.

“That was our one retail location,” said Dave Smith, owner of Minnesota Bob’s. “I was 12 years old first time when I went up, around 1981.”

Smith first wrote of the difficult year he and his family had already faced in a Facebook post over the summer, citing the pandemic and subsequent unemployment as well as issues that would come up if they tried moving trees through Canada like usual. On top of that, he was dealing with the passing of his mother.

“We have all had to make a lot of adjustments to our lives,” he wrote. “As many of you know my mother has been battling Alzheimer’s, and she recently lost the fight. My perspective changed in an instant. Family is more important than any business can ever be.”

His mother had been battling Alzheimer’s for seven or eight years, he said, and her death was especially tough on his dad, who founded the family business. was really tough on my dad.

“It hit me then, that maybe I should spend more time with my family,” Smith said Tuesday, “Instead of being gone every Christmas.”

Since sharing his plight with fans on Facebook, patrons of years past have shown an outpouring of support.

As such, Smith said that even with the many challenges he faced, the decision to close Minnesota Bob’s in Anchorage wasn’t easy, and it took lengthy discussions with his father for them to make a final call. They first released the info in June, he said, because so many Alaskans had ordered special trees, and he wanted to give people as much of a heads up as possible to find a new supplier.

“It was fun to see everybody every year,” Smith said Tuesday evening, “and it was a good time hanging out with my dad. That was the good part. A lot of good customers I know are disappointed this year, but everything comes to an end, I guess.

“I think we kind of went out on a high note, so it was a little bit better for us,” he continued. “I just want to let everyone know we miss them. We wish we were there. But life goes on.”

As he did in an interview on Tuesday, Smith ended his note on social media with gratitude and hopes of better seasons to come.

“Thank you for being loyal customers over the years,” he wrote. “We will miss seeing everyone. Maybe we will see you on the Kenai River in the future.”

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