Sawyer’s reopens three months after Dorian

FULLY STOCKED – Shoppers had their pick of fresh fruits and crisp produce during the reopening of Sawyer’s Fresh Market, Monday morning. (PHOTOS: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

Sawyer’s Fresh Market officially reopened its doors Monday (December 2) morning, after the store and its adjacent warehouses were severely damaged due to record level flooding because of Hurricane Dorian in early September.

A team from this daily visited the supermarket, where several excited, returning customers were shopping and being greeted by employees. 

Sawyer’s Store Manager Kayla Predelus stated that things had been going smoothly and most customers seemed excited to be shopping at the store again, many lining up at the doors since 7:30 a.m. 

“They were outside waiting for us to open,” she said. 

Predelus noted that the store’s extended closure gave them the opportunity to make several changes. “We expanded, and we opened up the front end to have more registers.” 

She added that this was significant, because they wanted to come back bigger and better. “We call it ‘After Dorian.’” 

Noting that it felt great to be back in operation, Predelus said, “It’s good to be back serving the Grand Bahama community, we look forward to that as we expand in the future.” 

She noted that although many of the employees suffered personal damages because of Dorian, they were all in positive spirits at the reopening. 

“The staff is excited, the customers are excited, they love the look, they love the spacious aisles … just how excited the customers are, that’s how excited our employees are to be back in the store,” she added. 

While the store did not offer specials on reopening day, Predelus revealed that management plans to have some specials soon.

“We didn’t open up with specials because we had a lot coming from the ground back up, but we plan to have a big special starting the second week in December,” she said. 

To commemorate the store’s return after the major setback, Sawyer’s employees wore special T-shirts with the words ‘Bahamas Strong.’

Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Grand Bahama on September 1, 2019, after ravaging Abaco. The catastrophic storm destroyed many homes, vehicles and businesses on the island, particularly in East Grand Bahama and the Downtown area.

Sawyer’s was one of the many business establishments that was severely impacted by Dorian’s severe flooding. As a result, they were forced to close for three months to make the necessary repairs.

Throughout the recovery process, Sawyer’s kept its loyal customers informed via social media. 

On September 16, 2019, management posted on the company’s Facebook Page, “As a result of Hurricane Dorian, both Fresh Market and Food Supply have suffered extensive damage. While the physical structures remain intact and undamaged, we experienced flood damage to the inside of our buildings.” 

The public was told that their team had been working tirelessly since the hurricane to cleanup and restore their operations. At the time it was unknown when they would reopen but assured their commitment to the Grand Bahama community. 

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