FAIRBANKS, Alaska - For 41 years, the Country Kitchen has been a hidden gem in Fairbanks, serving all manner of coffee as well as high-end kitchen appliances. Leonard and Kristine Thiltgen are the owners of the Country Kitchen and they talk about where they got their start.
"We started in 1977, downtown in a little business across from Nerland's, and since then we moved out here. That downtown store was closed, and so we continued on originally with just coffee, and since then we went into the kitchenware business when Kristine came on and took that over for me when we expanded," Leonard said.
The Thiltgens have served many people since their downtown days, but on October 31 they will be closing their current location in the Washington Plaza for good as they set out to enjoy the next chapter of their lives.
"We want to retire and move on to a different portion of our life and now is the time we have decided to do it. We have been talking about it for two years now. So we decided to sell the business and a portion of it was sold, the coffee, which will go over to Heather Carlson at her business, the Flower Pot over behind the Mattress Ranch," Thiltgen said.
The Thiltgens say they would have liked to see the business bought and kept open, but it seems that will not be the case. They also want to say thank you to the community for supporting them over the past four decades.