Early in the morning hours of Friday, April 14, Ralph’s Meat Market on Main Street suffered a “heartbreaking” electrical fire.
The local butcher shop has been closed since, but reconstruction efforts began in earnest this week.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for the local business. Ralph’s was extensively renovated and expanded just last year. Owner April Bickell reports the building had to be gutted back to the brick. Plumbing, electrical, and specialized equipment, including the basement kitchen, must be replaced.
While insurance will cover repairs, lost business probably won’t be.
“It happened just as we were gearing up for the first high season in our new space,” said Bickell.
So far, staff are still being paid.
“Suppliers will feel the effects, though,” said Ms. Bickell. “And so will the families who receive food assistance directly from the shop.”
Ralph’s is focused on re-opening the main floor of the business located at 79 Main St. They will phase in the rest, including the basement kitchen. Despite the stress of the fire and the process of arranging the re-build of the family-run business, Bickell looks forward to reopening.
“The community’s been great,” she said, and expressed gratitude for those who have called or stopped by to express support, as well as offers of help from other local businesses.