UNITY, Maine — Earlier this year, the Community Market and Bakery in Unity was unexpectedly destroyed after a fire tore through its building. But today, you would've never guessed it happened.
After only nine months, the Amish-run market opened its doors for its first "fresh donut" Wednesday.
"I would not ever imagine it would be this kind of support," the previous owner Caleb Stoll said. "It's almost like this store is a favorite part of people's lives."
With no insurance, Stoll said he had doubts he would rebuild. But after seeing the flood of support and love the community had for the store, he knew that wasn't an option.
"The initial response of help and offers for help and donations just made that decision by itself," Stoll said. "It got to the point where I didn't really want to go to town anymore because everyone was asking, 'When's the store going to be open.' I was just as frustrated as they were, I didn't know!"
After a soft opening last week, customers piled in Wednesday morning in search of hardware, gardening tools, footwear, kitchenware, and more.
According to Stoll, the only things on the shelves are items the Amish use themselves.
“I did get donuts today. I will have a happy grandson when I get home," Judy Smith said, who drove all the way from Oakland for the market.
"So happy for the community. The store has so many great items, and this porch with all the furniture, it's awesome," Smith added.
The front porch tells the story of that fateful day in the cold of winter, along with a warm note of thanks to those who supported the market the whole way.
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