Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 163 of 217

Montauk, Long Island, where many were still without power. Fairway's dedication to its customers was seen and felt at its grand re-opening on March 1. "Customers were hugging employees," Sanford recalls. "It was amazing to see." Sanford's biggest takeaway from the experience? "Take care of your employees. The people who worked the day of and the day after the storm were not required to do so, but they showed up. We wouldn't have had that happen if we didn't have great relationships with our union and employees. It makes all the difference to hire good people."—D.S. PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE Cheese + Wine, Hoboken, NJ on Facebook to keep his customers current on his progress. "We had customers wanting to come in and help us clean up," he says. "That is how concerned and supportive they were." In 2007, Chung Park opened The Cheese Shop, a 700-square-foot specialty food shop focusing on American farmstead and European traditional cheeses, charcuterie and gourmet sandwiches. To further fulfill the needs of Hobokenites, Park's goal was to move his store to a larger location in the city's Monroe Center, a mixed-use space, sometime in 2012. But last October, Hurricane Sandy put Park's expansion on hold and forced him to close his shop for four weeks. The damage… Though located more than 12 blocks from Hoboken's waterfront, Park's store was flooded with 12 inches of water mixed with sewage that backed up from the sewer system. With power out for more than 11 days, Park had to discard $50,000 in inventory. His wooden floors and walls were ruined and his refrigerators were compromised, shortening their lifespan. He estimates he lost $30,000 in sales. It took a week for Park and his two partners to clean out the shop, discard everything and assess the damage. "Once we emptied everything, the landlord was quick to come in and dig out and replace our walls and power-wash everything. Their fast efforts, along with the leadership of the city of Hoboken, enabled us to open in a timely manner," says Park, whose customers feared the store wouldn't reopen. Park posted the shop's stages of recovery CHEESE + WINE 720 Monroe St. Hoboken, NJ 201.683.8162 cheeseandwinestore.com Time closed: Four weeks Total losses: $80,000 Business recovery… When the store reopened about a month after Hurricane Sandy, business was slow. "A lot of our neighborhood residents were displaced from the flooding; not a lot of people came in because they were just not here," he says. Because he didn't have flood insurance, Park got no relief from his insurance company. He was able to get a stipend from the Hoboken Relief Fund and did obtain a loan from the Small Business Administration, monies that will go into his new construction. "Right now the building plans are under review with the city," Park says. "All the old plans that were in place before the hurricane had to be redrawn to accommodate flooding—the plans will definitely not include wood flooring again." Though he is still financially recovering, Park was recently able to obtain a wine license. He renamed the shop Cheese + Wine and now offers a small selection of wines, which has been a draw for business. PHOTO: NICOLE POTENZA DENIS Future plans… Park hopes to start building by the summer with an opening in late fall or early 2014. In the new space he plans to carry more than 200 types of wine but will stick to his current selection of about 80 cheeses. "My philosophy is when you find something superior at the best value—like the Delice Bourgogne Triple Creme or housecured taleggio that we keep in a brine bath for two weeks—there is no need to get others of its kind," Park explains. "But for some cheeses, like cheddar, it makes sense to carry a range, for price and flavor." Cheese + Wine's newly repaired shop, which will be home until a bigger location opens in late fall or early 2014. Strategies for the next storm… If Hoboken has the future misfortune of another natural disaster, Park says he'd put sandbags out next time, and try to move his non-perishables to higher shelves. "We really did not think something like this could happen," he says. "My advice would be to be diligent with insurance and make sure you know the details of your plan. It is a lot of work to get back up and running after something like this."—N.P.D. JULY/AUGUST 2013 147

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