North Granville gets a grocery (back)
Almost seven months to the day after a fire gutted, and ultimately destroyed, Schoony’s North Granville Grocery, Schoony’s Country Market rose from the ashes Friday and the community breathed a sigh of relief.
Friday morning, June 24 the Schoony’s family gathered in front of the store to begin another era in the location’s long, storied history which began with the days of the multi-purpose store until the Black Friday fire, and now a ribbon cutting.
Patrons who had, for months, been stopping by to check on the progress finally got a chance to check out the store all lit up for business and were impressed with what they found.
“It’s just great because it became, if you were in North Granville you had to go to Whitehall or Fort Ann to get anything, so it’s great that they’re open again,” Andy McEachron said.
McEachron was the first person to buy a pizza from the store. He said he was taking it to his mother-in-law Loretta Moore who was rehabilitating from recent surgery nearby.
Even before the ribbon stretched across the entryway was cut customers were milling around the store.
Owner Bob Schoonmaker dashed around the store shaking hands and receiving congratulations as well as answering questions, directing vendors, when time permitted, trying to soak it all in.
Ritchie Jones stopped in to play Quick Draw. “Am I happy they’re open? Of Course, I’m a regular customer,” he said.
After two weeks of 18-hour days the new store was close to ready for its debut, mostly. As first customer Roy Rathbun found out.
Rathbun came in for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich.
“Even after all of that we still forgot something. I forgot to order the English muffins and the egg guy hasn’t come yet,” Schoonmaker said.
Schoonmaker asked for patience from patrons as the Schoony’s team got back into the swing of things. “Everything’s back up and running so we’re hoping people are going to stop in and see what’s new,” he said.
What is new is the building. Schoonmaker said the construction team that brought the market back did a great job because the only thing to survive the fire was the large wall-length cooler running along the store’s north side.
“I can’t say enough about those guys. I want to thank Roberts Builders, Quality Cooling, Barlow Electric, J & J Drywall and Daigle Construction. They just did a great job,” Schoonmaker said.
All of the employees returned Schoonmaker said: Chris Fuller, LeeAnn Shaw, Rachel, Dorie, Bob and Renee Schoonmaker, Dan Bailey, Sarah Utley and Bri Faele.
Fuller said he worked other jobs over the course of the seven months including coaching basketball but always intended to return when the store reopened.
“It’s a crazy day. We forgot lots of stuff – but hey, we’re open and it feels good,” Schoonmaker said.