Alaska’s Mother of the Year: Mother of Eleven and Business Owner

Contributed By Abby Jennings, Church News staff writer

  • 30 June 2015

Vikki Solberg, on the bride’s right, and her husband, Rick, on the groom’s left, pose for a photo with their children and grandchildren at their son’s wedding.  Courtesy of Vikki Solberg.

Article Highlights

  • Four years after getting married, Vikki and her husband decided to open a health food store.
  • She raised 11 children while running a business.

“In this day and age, motherhood is not always revered and respected, and I think that’s a very important part of who we are as women.” —Vikki Solberg, the Alaska State Mother of the Year

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

With 11 children and a booming business, Vikki Solberg knows what it’s like to be a busy mom.

She and her husband, Rick, both grew up around siblings—she had three—and looked forward to having a family when they married in 1972. They didn’t plan on having 11 children but are grateful they did. “Heavenly Father has blessed us tremendously,” she said.

Four years after getting married, she and her husband decided to open a health food store. The idea came to them after watching the April 1976 general conference. Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone, then Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, spoke on food storage. After hearing his talk, they were determined to get a food storage supply, but “there really weren’t a lot of options in Anchorage,” she said. Soon after, they opened their store, which has been in business for nearly 39 years.

Sister Solberg enjoyed having children while running a business. “I had the privilege of bringing my kids to work,” she said. When her children got older they enjoyed working at the store too.

When she couldn’t take her children to the store, Sister Solberg’s mother, Marjorie Hosman, was there to help. “She was a hard-working woman, and she always loved kids,” she said. “She was definitely an inspiration.”

Sister Solberg and her husband knew teaching their children about the Atonement was “very important,” she said. “We make mistakes, and that’s why there’s repentance.” America and its freedoms have also been a big part of their family. “America is just really important to us,” she said.

Sister Solberg said the best part about being a mom has been watching her children grow and accomplish their goals. She also enjoys when they come back home to visit or when they give her and her husband a call.

“I’m just thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had of having 11 children and being able to have grandchildren,” she said.

After being named the Alaska State Mother of the Year by American Mothers Inc., Sister Solberg attended its annual conference in Washington, D.C. She was excited to see many women who are members of the Church and many who are not who still think motherhood is important. “In this day and age, motherhood is not always revered and respected, and I think that’s a very important part of who we are as women,” she said.