MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — The Ojibwa Express Convenience is open for business in Marquette Township.
Aanikoosing Incorporated, an economic development corporation created by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, has been working on the planning and construction of the Ojibwa Express Convenience store and gas station since 2012. Now, with store managers in training and the driveway connecting the store to US–41 figured out, the development is very nearly complete.
“Now we’re looking at probably the first week, maybe into the second week of June,” said Aanikoosing CEO Andrew Chosa. “We’ve got some equipment that still needs to come in. We’ve got to get some asphalt in before we can get the driveway open. So there’s a couple things that are still up in the air, but we’re talking about days not weeks.”
Because the station is not located on tribal trust land, it is not exempt from state gas taxes. Chosa said they will operate just like any other corporation in the state.
“We’ll be on a level playing field with everybody else in the community,” Chosa added, “and you know, we’re proud to do that. We’re proud to be investing in our home, because, I mean, we live here, too.”
Chosa sees the store’s location off the eastbound side of US–41 as an advantage. He said they have been focusing on making sure they stock breakfast items and coffee for morning commuters.