France Bournazel dons her protectuve faceshield inside the reopened Russell Farm Market. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Island market finally reopens more than seven months after extreme flood

COVID situation lengthened an already long renovation process

There were times when France Bournazel thought the day would never come.

It’s been a long haul over more than seven months since flood waters engulfed the Russell Farm Market & Garden Centre at the Trans Canada Highway and Mount Sicker Road during a torrential rainstorm Feb. 1.

Related: Fundraiser created for popular Vancouver Island farm market overrun with water

The Garden Centre previously reopened, but the Market finally swung open again on Tuesday after months of dealing with renovations and insurance claims that didn’t come anywhere near to covering all incidentals and then the unexpected added burden from the pandemic.

“It was supposed to be done by the end of May,” noted co-owner Bournazel. “Because of COVID-19, we lost all our summer.”

Related: Russell Farm Market refurbishing for spring opening well underway

Step One is done to get operational again with all the safety measures for COVID and Step Two will entail the community coming together to offer support.

“We’re all in the same boat now,” said Bournazel. “We need our support from the people to stay alive for the winter.”

Everybody has to be strong, she stressed, and help each other out with the prime part of the season lost.

“We make our money in the summer so we can survive the winter,” said Bournazel. “It’s really dead serious here – not just me, everybody.”

New suppliers had to be found in certain cases for restocking the Market.

“We’re trying to get a lot of small business, we support them by carrying their stuff,” noted Bournazel.

The main emphasis for now is “we start slow,” she added. “We don’t want to fall on our face. Winter’s coming.”

The Market has reopened with more space between the aisles. The deli is also back in operation where lunchtime meals are offered and that makes long-time employee Cheryl McKay happy. She tried stints in the Garden Centre and doing other things to bridge the gap, but the deli is her forte.

“She’s finally where she belongs,” laughed Bournazel.

Putting all the pieces of the Market back together has taken extreme perseverance.

“I’m very thankful for all the people that helped me – physically labour-wise and money with GoFundMe,” Bournazel said. “The support is amazing around here.”

At times, it was tough for Bournazel to keep going but the support made it easier.

“Thank you to everybody,” she indicated. “It’s really amazing and I’m going to keep going.”

The water that rushed in so quickly in the early morning hours of Feb. 1 and caused so much devastation in a short time took a long time to patch up.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Bournazel. “I think we’re really doing good. I have an amazing staff. That helped.”

BusinessCoronavirusflooding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Russell Farm Market & garden Centre’s France Bournazel is pleased to have Cheryl McKay back in her comfort zone at the deli. (Photo by Don Bodger)

A good selection of vegetables and fruit is just returning to the shelves of the Russell Farm Market & Deli since reopening. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Burger sales bring in $5,000 to build Imagination Libraries in Greater Victoria

United Way of Greater Victoria and Big Wheel Burger team up to get kids reading

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read