J.B. Gottstein & Company began providing groceries and staple goods to Alaska.
Larry Carr moved to Alaska from Southern California, hoping to earn enough money to open a store back home. Instead, he opened Carrs Grocery in Anchorage.
J.B's son Barney graduated from school and took over management of the company, quickly turning it into the largest wholesale grocery distribution company in the state.
J.B. Gottstein & Company began supplying groceries to Larry's newly opened grocery store, the forerunner of Carrs Quality Centers chain of supermarkets.
Over the years, Barney and Larry became close friends, and in the 1960s they began acquiring and developing real estate together.
The two business associates merged their companies and formed the Carr Gottstein Company. The newly-merged company grew rapidly. As Carrs Quality Centers opened all over the state, Carr Gottstein Properties expanded from developing strictly retail to the development of office, industrial and residential real estate.
Shortly after Larry Carr and Barney Gottstein merged their companies, the Carr Gottstein Building was completed in downtown Anchorage. In the courtyard of the seven-story building is a blue whale diving into water. The bronze sculpture is the size of a baby blue whale at birth and is entitled "The Last Blue Whale." The whale was so well liked that it immediately became the symbol of the newly merged company.
Carr Gottstein Foods, which included the grocery stores and the distribution company, was sold. Carr Gottstein Foods was later acquired by Safeway in the late 1990's.
Carr Gottstein Properties remains under the ownership of the founders, and continues to offer premier office, retail and warehouse locations throughout south-central Alaska.