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Down To Earth Plans To Reopen For Small Business Saturday

Rachael McDonald
We have a wonderful group of people that we work with. Everyone has been so excited it's hard to get them to stop and take a break, honestly.

Two fires this summer had a big impact on the Eugene Community. A late June arson fire destroyed Civic Stadium's historic grandstands. In August, the building that was home to a bowling alley went up in flames. Two businesses on either side of Southtowne Lanes have been shuttered since the fire. Rachel Klinnert is General Manager of Down to Earth. She says they plan to reopen this Saturday.

Klinnert: Most of our damage was water and smoke damage. All of our product had to be removed from the store, including the carpeting and fixtures. So, right now, we're starting from the ground up. We have been closed for the last 3 months and employees are really looking forward to coming back to work.

McDonald: You mentioned the smoke damage and there are actually plants here. Were any of those able to be salvaged?

Klinnert: We were lucky. Michael from Fox Hollow Creek Nursery was able to salvage the remaining plants from the store and sell them at his nursery.

McDonald: We're here in the new store right now and I can smell the new carpet and I can see folks furiously working to get everything set up. Can you describe what has to happen?

Klinnert: We started out with a completely empty space. We had to bring in new racking. We built the racking ourselves. We have a wonderful group of people that we work with. Everyone has been so excited it's hard to get them to stop and take a break, honestly. Right now, we've got the shelves placed and we are hurriedly stocking the shelves.

Klinnert says insurance helped the company pay employees during the closure and covered the cost of renovations. Klinnert says loyal customers helped too.

Klinnert: We have our main store at 532 Olive Street and many of the regular customers from the south-town store came in support of our store location being closed and they shopped downtown. And of course, they've been inquiring the entire time that we have been closed as to when we'll be open again. Not a day goes by that someone either has stopped by and asked or there's a phone call of when are we opening again in south-town.

The store is planning to re-open on Saturday after Thanksgiving, small business Saturday.  

Credit Rachael McDonald
Eugene Coin and Jewelry plans to be open again on December 1st.

Another business that was affected by the August fire that destroyed Southtowne Lanes is Eugene Coin and Jewelry. They're planning to reopen on December 1st.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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