Three Bears Expands Across Alaska

The company bought six more retail properties in the Interior and Unalaska.

September 28, 2023

Wasilla-based grocery and retail chain expanded its c-store footprint with its latest acquisitions. The company purchased four Fairbanks Sourdough Fuel gas station convenience stores, a gas station convenience store in Delta Junction and a supply store in Unalaska, according to KToo.

Jim Kolb, a Three Bears spokesperson, said, “The Sourdough stations, the gas stations up there, those are all going to be Three Bears gas stations.”

Kolb stated that the company is still working on plans for the changeover, but the company should be able to convert the stations quickly as all it has to do is change signage and swap out new inventory.

However, the Delta Junction acquisition is expected to take more work, reported KToo. Three Bears plans to transform the service station and shop into a gas station and a little grocery store. Next summer, the company intends to build a real grocery store on site.

Kolb said that Three Bears wants to offer a small store as soon as possible to help the community, as Delta lost its only grocery store in December 2021 when the store’s roof collapsed under heavy snow.

“Because we know they don’t have anything up there, and they’ve been screaming,” Kolb said.

The convenience retailer has been rapidly expanding over the past year, as the company is a beneficiary of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation’s in-state investment program. Additionally, Three Bears entered a recapitalization deal with Westward Partners, a Seattle-based private equity firm, in Spring of 2022.

“We were growing anyway up until then,” Kolb said, “but that recapitalization has allowed us to leverage investors’ money, instead of the bank, so we have to come up with less down (payment) to get these projects going, which is very, very helpful.”

Outside of recent acquisitions, Three Bears has 13 grocery stores, eight gas stations, nine sporting-goods stores and four pharmacies.