Robert Thorne, a former East End corner boy picks up a few items at Belbins Grocery on Quidi Vidi Road earlier this week. Belbins first opened its doors in 1943 and has many loyal customers who live in the area. Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
Belbin’s Grocery on Quidi Vidi Road is back in business after a two-day power outage caused by tropical storm Leslie.
Chris Belbin said the family-run store had to dump all of its ice cream, as well as packaged meats, fresh meats, milk, cheese, some produce and stock in open cases.
Frozen foods in the store’s large industrial freezers were fine, but anything that the grocers felt might be compromised was tossed for safety’s sake.
Because of ferry disruptions earlier in the week and freight schedules, Belbin said ice cream may not be available until Monday as the supplier sources it from Nova Scotia.
It was the longest power outage at the store in Belbin’s memory.
“The most we’ve ever had an outage is eight to 10 hours and we’ve been back in business,” he said.
The power came back on 6 p.m. Wednesday, but staff were checking stock in coolers before reopening this morning.
The phones have been ringing off the hook and Belbin was catching up with dozens of emails today.
Some items that were in the freezer have been marked down as previously frozen.
Belbin said he’d been back and forth to the store ever since Tuesday checking on things and getting updates from power crews, who initially thought it would take only hours to restore electricity in the area. The power went off 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The grocers are sorting out with their insurance company what’s covered.
Belbin doesn’t know how much the losses will be. Besides the merchandise, the store lost two days of sales. The grocers also paid employees their salaries for those days.
Belbin said customers wanted to come in Wednesday night, but Belbin’s didn’t want to take a chance on people buying something that wasn’t safe.
“It tore our hearts out we couldn’t let them come in the store and pick up a few things,” he said.
Belbin said it could have been worse and he’s grateful there was no loss of life in the province from Leslie, nor was there widespread devastation.