[Summerside, PEI] – A steady stream of customers were going through the doors at Amalgamated Dairies Ltd.'s retail outlet over the lunch hour Wednesday, (Feb. 1) leaving armed with cheese, milk, ice cream and butter.
© (Photo: Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer)
Corbin Clark, 9, reaches for a container of ADL chocolate milk during a stop at ADL’s retail location at Read’s Corner, Prince Edward Island. The retail outlet opened Jan. 30 after being closed since late August following a fire at the Read’s Corner location.
After a devastating fire late last summer the cash and carry location at Read's Corner (Summerside, Prince Edward Island) finally re-opened its doors to the public on Monday (Jan. 30).
"We're officially open for business," said company CEO and general manager Jim Bradley Wednesday. "It's been great. I talked to one of the girls in the sales office this (Wednesday) morning and she said yesterday (Tuesday) was a busy day with a lot of her old clientele back and glad to see that she's back open for business again."
An early morning fire on Aug. 27 destroyed a third of ADL's facility at Read's Corner, prompting the closure of the retail outlet. The cause was determined to be a faulty refrigerator unit.
The fire destroyed the newer section constructed in 2007. The initial loss was estimated at $5 million, including equipment and the building, but stock in the adjoining building couldn't be salvaged due to smoke damage.
Work is now ongoing to rebuild the 14,000-square-foot section destroyed by fire with an additional 9,000-square-feet of space being added.
Bradley said Wednesday that construction is on schedule with the newly expanded Read's Corner facility expected to be fully operational by early to mid March.
"It's coming along great. We are back in the storages that were in the older portion of the building," added the CEO. "We moved back into those the week before Christmas. The new construction, although it has been closed off to the outside now, everything is taking place behind closed walls."
The support of the community and the resilience of the company's staff were vital in the ability for ADL to get back to business almost immediately, said Bradley.
Offices were moved into space at the Holman Building, space was rented from the Summerside Port Authority and from the Cavendish Farms group in Charlottetown and space was freed up at ADL's Water Street facility.
"People and processes adapted quite readily to the challenge," he added. "It restores your faith that you made the right decision to rebuild. It shows that people really did value it and it was an important part of the community."
The company is still renting some space until the Read's Corner facility, which employs about 40 full and part-time employees, is fully operational. When that happens, a grand re-opening likely will be held.
"There's been an awful lot of people expressing an awful lot of interest in what exactly it is going to look like when it's done," said Bradley. "I think everybody will be quite pleased."