Grand opening set for burned out North Granville store
June 24, 9 a.m. ribbon cutting
By Matthew Rice
It has been a long road for the Schoonmaker family, but the end is near.
Taking a break from putting finishing touches on the North Granville grocery now knownas ‘Schoony’s Country Market’ which the family took over in 2008, Bob Schoonmaker said his grand re-opening is just a couple of weeks off.
“June 24. We’re going to do it June 24 with a ribbon-cutting and the whole bit,” he said.
Bob, and wife Dorie, were busy working Wednesday June 8 beginning to put together the store’s deli area and starting on the wood floor.
The store will return with all of the features people stopped in for, he said, from the meats in the deli case to the freshly made submarine sandwiches and other deli foods.
One of the biggest jobs remaining before the doors open is to set up the shelves and get them, as well as the coolers and the deli stocked up.
As Schoonmaker paused from working on the new wood floors Friday, he spoke with a vendor for paper products; discussing just a few of the things he needs like paper towels, napkins and toilet paper.
Schoonmaker added a unique touch with the floors. The former athlete and coach said the floor boards he worked all week to install were former gymnasium bleachers from Shaker High School, reclaimed by Alan Lang and his company and now covering the floor of the new shop. As much of the workers and products as possible came from local vendors and contractors, he said. “I wanted to go with other independents, like myself,” he said.
Floors were just one on the tasks remaining with less than two weeks to go until the reopening.
At the time, the new front doors had not arrived. Schoonmaker said he expected to be able to install them before the end of the week.
The doors came in Friday, allowing the store to be officially closed off to the outside world.
Although they had no problems during the construction, Schoonmaker said the curious frequently stopped and looked inside at the new space.
The entire crew is coming back, he said.
“I thought I’d lose one or two. I thought someone would have to go and take a job somewhere else, but every one is coming back,” Schoonmaker said.
The road back from the devastating electrical fire which largely destroyed the neighborhood grocery has been a long one. So long, Schoonmaker himself sometimes loses track.
The fire started on an evening when many others were out beginning their holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday.
A passerby, Wes Barlow, noticed smoke and flame emerging from the roof of the building and stopped to tell the two women working at the time that the building was on fire.
Within minutes of the workers calling 911 and evacuating the building the fire raged through the old building doing heavy damage to the storage area on the second floor and the roof of the building.
Smoke and water damage from fighting the tenacious blaze did still more damage to a building which stood in North Granville so long few were sure just exactly how old it was.
The Schoonmakers said that night, even before firefighters pronounced the fire extinguished, the family planned to reopen the store.
Months later, as winter rolled into spring, it was determined the structure was too heavily damaged to be rehabilitated and had to be taken down.
Early this spring,with insurance straightened, out Schoonmaker said he hoped to reopen in May. Looking back over the course of the large and complex job, Schoonmaker said he was happy to have been off my just one month in that early estimate.
“Four weeks off, for a job this big … that’s not bad,” he said looking around the store.
“It’s been a long process and I don’t know if people realize how much work it took,” Schoonmaker said.