A view of Metlakatla on Annette Island, Alaska’s only Native reserve. (File photo by Leila Kheiry)

An iconic grocery store and mini-mart in Metlakatla changed hands this summer. The Alaska Commercial Co. now operates the Leask Market and Leask Mini-Mart.

Metlakatla Mayor Albert Smith said the buildings were sold about six weeks ago. 

The family trust is ready to retire from the business, so they offered it to Metlakatla Indian Community,” he said.

The tribe has now rented the market and the Leask Mini-Mart to AC.

We’re pretty excited to see a little bit of change around here,” Smith said. 

Under the lease, Smith said those changes could start as soon as mid-July. 

They’re going to do some renovating to the stores to make it look more so like an Alaska Commercial Company store and the competitive pricing is good, and then more variety of merchandise you can buy,” he explained.

Smith says the stores will remain open during the renovations. AC owns more than 30 stores in other Southeast communities, including Craig, Klawock and Sitka.

Raegan Miller is a Report for America corps member for KRBD. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution at KRBD.org/donate.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the market and mini-mart will remain open during renovations.