Montpelier, VT – Just over 50 days since this year’s historic flooding, the recovery process is almost complete for a handful of businesses in downtown Montpelier.
Friday will mark the official re-opening for Bear Pond Books, Capitol Stationers, Notion Fabric & Craft, and Splash Naturals. The four businesses are all within just 100 feet of each other on Main Street between Blanchard Court and State Street, and were all several feet underwater in mid-July.
“I think it’ll help the town, a little normalcy, back to being what Montpelier was,” said Kent Bigglestone, co-owner of Capitol Stationer.
“It’s slowly been getting better since then, but it’s felt slow and it’s been a lot of hard work to get it to this point,” said Claire Benedict, co-owner of Bear Pond Books. “The worst part of it all was the beginning with the puddles, the you know, books floating in puddles and mud everywhere and just taking in all the destruction.”
Bigglestone and Benedict say the last 50 days or so have been complete rebuilds, from putting in new floors, new walls and new electric components, to purchasing new furniture and restocking inventory.
“There were a couple times we questioned if we were making the right decision in building, but we … there was no question we had to do it,” Benedict said.
“We’ve been very fortunate, we have a very good landlord who came in and did the floors, the walls, right away,” Bigglestone said. “30-40 percent of our inventory back, I’m hoping within another three weeks, say mid-September, that we’ll be fully back up and running.”
Now, they’ve spent the last few days working on finishing touches, and can’t wait to show off their new looks to their loyal customers and community members.
“A lot of people are like, ‘I’ll be there first thing when you open!'” Benedict said. “So I think we’re going to have a lot of people here, I think it’s going to be a really festive, fun atmosphere, and we’re just looking forward to the party.”
“We’re very excited to see some old and new customers again,” Bigglestone said.
Capitol Stationers is expected to open at 9:00 a.m. and Bear Pond Books will open at 10:00 a.m.