Thanksgiving is in the books — now it's time to find that perfect Christmas tree

Published: Nov. 22, 2018 at 7:25 PM AKST
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Thanksgiving is over, which unofficially marks the start of Christmas tree season.

One local tree hub can be found on West Dimond Blvd, where Minnesota Bob’s Christmas Trees has been selling Minnesota-farmed Christmas trees since 1999.

The history of the family-owned company dates back to the early 1960s when Bob Smith, aka “Minnesota Bob” started selling trees in Anchorage as a side hustle.

Fast forward to November, 2018, and Minnesota Bob has become somewhat of a household name in Anchorage around Christmas time. But Bob himself has left the management of the business to his son Dave.

While Anchorage residents enjoyed Thanksgiving meals, Dave Smith was busy getting his pop-up business up and running.

"I haven't been home for Thanksgiving since 1989," Smith said.

As soon as Thanksgiving Day is over, tree selling time begins.

"There's going to be a lot of people here and we've gotta be ready," Smith said on Thursday.

Smith harvests trees on the family farm in Minnesota and trucks them for sale here in Anchorage. It’s a long commute for a business, which was started by Smith's father.

"Back when I was younger, everybody called him Minnesota Bob,” Smith remembers. “Once I took over, I just renamed the operation Minnesota Bob because everybody thought it was that anyway."

With the Smith’s long family history comes certain obligations to repeat customers.

"They've come to expect that we're here, and we plan to keep coming,” Smith said. “We want to keep everybody happy and have a good Christmas."

Smith says his hottest sellers are Balsam and Fraser Firs, but he always keeps a few Norway Pines — the Minnesota state tree — on hand for the aficionados.

And despite the rush to setup shop, even tree farmers from Minnesota have to eat.

"We are going to try to get some Thanksgiving dinner tonight."