For many in and around Ramsey, extended power outages and downed trees were the biggest issues they had to deal with after Hurricane Sandy. But, for one Franklin Turnpike business, the storm brought destruction managers were not expecting.
“Everyone knew the storm was coming, so we actually had a busy weekend right before it hit,” Ilise Cohn, the Calico Corners Store Manager told Patch this month. “People wanted to get last minute orders in” to the shop, which sells fabris and custom furniture, trimming, windows, bedding and more.
The night before the storm, she closed up shop, as many businesses throughout the borough did.
“I was actually nervous because I didn’t put anything on the windows to protect them,” Cohn said. “It turned out that the windows were fine.”
During the storm, heavy winds lifted up part of the store’s roof, and rain water rushed into the store, destroying half of the interior of the building, and most of the store’s inventory.
After Sandy, employees salvaged what they could from the showroom. When power finally returned to the borough, crews got to work renovating the building.
“We got new everything,” Cohn, who says Calico does not own the building, said. “Our insurance and our landlord’s insurance were very helpful,” she said. “But it took 10-and-a-half weeks to rebuild everything and restock the showroom. There was a delay in getting the work done because there was such a demand for repairs. But, I’m glad we weren’t a priority. There were so many damaged homes, I’m glad they were fixed first.”
During the time, employees still used the office section of the shop, which had not been damaged by the storm.
“Believe it or not, we got some work done while we were closed,” she said. “We were able to coordinate installations and deliveries on items that had already been ordered. It could have been much worse.”
But, customers sorely missed the showroom, which displays fabric samples, furniture and design ideas for locals looking for more accessible decorating options.
When the store finally reopened earlier this month, the community welcomed it back with open arms.
“We had over 50 people come in on the first day,” Cohn said. “A lot of our loyal customers were here.”
The store, which carries a wide range of designer fabrics, reopened just in time to launch a new Calico exclusive line of fabrics designed by Nate Berkus.
“It’s an exciting time for us, and we are so happy to be reopening now,” Cohn said. “This is a busy time where people are thinking about redecorating their houses.”
The Ramsey Calico Corners has been in business for 23 years, and is one of over 80 Calico locations throughout the country. According to Cohn, it is one of Calico’s busiest stores, and is consistently ranked in the top 25% in the company.