Gorge shop owners looking forward to getting back on their feet - KPTV - FOX 12

Gorge shop owners looking forward to getting back on their feet during holiday shopping season

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STEVENSON, WA (KPTV) -

While big box stores were in the spotlight on Black Friday, Saturday was time for small businesses to shine.

Small Business Saturday deals brought hope to some shop owners in the Gorge.

While shop owners in downtown Stevenson didn’t have to evacuate like their neighbors in Cascade Locks due to the Eagle Creek Fire, a few did completely shut down.

Melissa Still, Vice President at Bigfoot Coffee Roasters, told FOX 12 the shop is starting fresh after months of being closed. Their grand opening was Saturday after recently moving locations.

“You can feel the rebound happening now. And Saturday shopping is a big part of that,” Still said.

She explained that after the destruction of the Eagle Creek Fire, they accelerated their move, closing two weeks after the fire started because they weren’t making enough money to stay open.

Another store down the street, The Shed, also had to close its doors. Owner Joe Frice evacuated his home and left his popular vintage antique toy store shuttered for a week during the fire.

“Because we had to leave the house, it was fairly traumatic,” Frice told FOX 12. “I couldn’t be open either because I physically have to have the door open, and the smoke would come in and my inventory just can’t take smoke.”

Shop owners were happy to see return crowds Saturday and said without their customers, there’d be no small business.

“We’re a small community and you just really see how a community comes together when the flames hit the fan,” Frice said.

While shop owners told FOX 12 business was slow to pick up speed after the Eagle Creek Fire, the holiday shopping season always gives them hope, adding that the Gorge community remains supportive and resilient.

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