FRUITVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — It has been a long year and a day for Detwiler’s Farm Market since Hurricane Ian made landfall. On Friday, the store reopened after being closed from the storm’s devastation.
“I didn’t think it was going to be a year, to be honest,” said Henry Detwiler, Sr. “But we are here.”
The Detwilers have stayed here, at their Palmer Boulevard flagship farm market in Sarasota County, even after Ian ripped off the roof, left ceiling tiles everywhere and caused serious water damage.
“We came in here and I just started saying, ‘We are going to rebuild,'” said Detwiler. “And that is what we did.”
The family gutted the building, built new displays and stocked the shelves. Some eager, faithful customers even showed up a couple of days early, ready to fill their shopping carts again. But they understood hurricane recovery takes time.
“I was the only one that got damage from a huge oak falling on villa in Irma,” recalled Sarasota resident Mike Stumpe. “So I know what it’s like to be put out of commission for a while. Welcome back.”
It’s those kinds of regulars the Detwilers want to thank.
“I have two big thank yous,” said Detwiler. “It is for all of my associates and all of my customers that are so faithful and so good.”
Detwiler said customers can expect the same groceries they’ve always come to enjoy at the store — produce, dairy, meat, seafood and ice cream — plus some new additions in a redesigned space.