PROBAR® Helps a Retailer in Need

January 11, 2012

Related Topics: Community

When hurricane Irene hit the East coast, business owner Steve Shah was not expecting the kind of damage that happened to his Nature’s Pavilion Natural Food Market.  Check out his amazing story here and see how PROBAR® helped get them back on their feet:

Nature’s Pavilion is New Jersey’s largest independent natural food market.  We pride our self in customer service.  Our customers are very loyal to us and always trust us more then they trust their own doctore many times.  This puts  more responsibility in our hands.

August started out like any other in the past.  We were enjoying the hot, humid days that summer brings to this area every year.  But everything was about to change.  We had heard that a hurricane, named Irene, was coming, and it will be a bad storm.  But by the time at arrived, it was categorized as only a tropical storm.  We were relieved.

We closed the store as normal on Saturday, August 27.  We have cameras in the store and I was watching them avery few hours from home to make sure everything was ok.  On Sunday, August 28 I got up and turned the computer on to look at the cameras.  It looked fine.  My staff braved the weather and came to the store.  At that time all was well.  But we decided to not open the store as the rains were very heavy.  Later, as I was watching the cameras, I noticed that the floor looked a little muddy.  That’s when I realized that the water was coming into the store.  Then the power went out.  I lost the ability to keep my eyes on the store.  I figured I could not do much, so why worry.

Next day, on Monday, I tried to call the store.  The Phones were not working.  I called the town.  They said it’s bad down here so don’t even bother to come.  My staff started to call me that they were unable to leave their house.  I went to help one of my friend whose house was getting water in the basement.  They only had about 2 inches of water and it was bad.  At this point, all that was going in my head was what to expect at the store when we are able to come back.

On Tuesday, I received a call from my manager that he made to the store and that it was really bad.  I got in the car and drove to the store.  What I saw when I got here was pure shocking.  I had never seen so much disaster concentrated in one area.  We measured the water marks on the wall and door.  The entire store was submerged in 20 inches of water. (see the attached picture.  One is the aerial view of the front  of the store (notice the green awning which is the front of the store) at only 6 to 8 inches of water, other is the front road photo, before the water came into the store.  The third is the view as soon as you enter the store.)  Some items near the front door were items that we had on the shelves all the way in the back of the store.  This whole area was federally declared a disaster zone.

My first reaction was – how will we ever clean up?  I called my insurance company, only to find out that our comprehensive policy covered every thing, except flood  (lesson learned – Have a separate flood if there is even a remote chance of flooding).  How were we going to pay for everything?

We calculated the inventory loss at about $150,000 at least.  All of our computers were destroyed. All of our freezers/coolers were heavily damaged.  All of our displays were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

I begin to wonder if we would re-open.

Then the customers started to knock on the doors.  They were all effected and needed items to rebuild.  How could we  leave them?  We decided we had no choice but to rebuild.  We had started from scratch when we opened this store ten years ago.  We can start again.

Two weeks after the hurricane, we were almost ready to reopen, but we had lost lots of inventory.  I started calling many of the companies whose products were damaged.  The purpose was to get whatever
help the companies were able to offer in re-bringing the products back.

That’s when I contacted Probar®.  I spoke to Jason and told him that all of the pro-bars were destroyed along with the brand new display that I set up just a week before the storm.  Jason got back to me immediately and offered to replace the entire display, with one case each of all the varieties of the bars.  We could not believe the offer.  It’s hard to put in words the kind of support we have received from Probar® and some of the other companies.  Probars were my favorite bars from the beginning.  Now we are even more loyal to this company, thanks to the generosity they have shown us during the time when we needed them the most.

Thank you Probar®.  Keep making those great bars, and never stop making the pistachio variety, as that is my favorite.

Steve Shah





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