Willey Farms opens The Mercantile in the family's old barn Nov. 7.
Just two days after the anniversary of the fire that destroyed the business, Willey Farms opened The Mercantile, a gift shop inside the original family barn on U.S. Route 13 near Townsend.
Marketing coordinator Donna Cavender said they had a small hut and office that made it through the fire, but the barn was the only major building that survived.
“We didn’t want to celebrate the anniversary, we wanted to acknowledge it,” she said. “We thought opening the new selling space would be ironic and satisfying for us.”
The shop is filled with Christmas items, gifts and decorations. The barn has been with the family before the Willey Farms market opened, and they have spent the last couple of months renovating it into The Mercantile.
The owners opened a new produce market in a building slightly north of the original in May. Cavender said customers and friends have been a huge help.
“The community has been supportive and loyal since the day after the fire,” she said.
Residents have been eager to see the next phase, and the farm is excited to finally have something for them, Cavender said.
“We are happy to give back to them,” she said. “They’ve been waiting and we are happy to give them a little bit more of the Willey rebuild.”
She did not say what future plans will be, but they will spend the off-season preparing for their “big spring push” of vegetables and flowers.
After the Christmas season, the business will close the greenhouse for winter like usual.