Country Kitchen
Fairbanks AK

Len & Kris Thiltgren, Owners

The Country Kitchen opened a small location in downtown Fairbanks in April 1977. The three partners, Leonard Thiltgen, Dan Bernhardt and Dan Fyten were also owners Superior Coffee Service; sellers of whole bean coffee and accessories. They eventually, began buying other things beside coffee related items. The three men took turns operating the store for a couple of years before they hired a full time sales clerk. In 1984 the store was moved to the 1,800 square foot mall location that it is in now. We continued to operate the downtown store for a year or so, but realized it was just too much. We first bought out one partner, and then in 2001, swapped companies with the other partner. Leonard & I kept the store, and Dan kept the coffee service. Leonard is responsible for the coffee and coffee related items still as that is his primary love and expertise. I do pretty much all of the other buying, but we do rely on each others’ opinions. We have grown from one full time employee, to three part time and one full time employee. We count on buying at the Pacific Market Center for spring and summer at the January show, and for winter and Christmas at the August show.

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