THERE is good news for Togher as a local shop is set to reopen in the coming weeks following closure due to fire damage.
Whyte’s Centra in Togher was forced to close temporarily after a fire broke out in the store overnight in early April of this year.
However, the Togher store is currently undergoing major repair works and the owner has revealed that the local shop should be opened as early as the June bank holiday weekend.
Owner Kieran Whyte has said that he has been blown away by the well wishes and support from locals and that he and his staff have been working hard to reopen for the community.
The fire had caused significant damage within the store, resulting in Mr Whyte having to rebuild from scratch.
He continued: “We pared it all back to the bare blocks and started again.
This week we have our floor going down and the electricians are here to rewire the store. We are getting all these things done before we can start stocking and getting new shelving counters and deli equipment.” Mr Whyte has said that he has been overwhelmed by the level of support that the local community has given.
“The well wishes that we have gotten from the community would genuinely bring a tear to your eyes. It was really emotional and overwhelming with the support that we got from people after what happened to us. It is their store and their community, and they are really looking forward to seeing us open again. “ Mr Whyte has also commended his staff for their dedication.
The shop employs around 38 full and part time staff, who have been busy helping to return the shop back to its former glory.
Mr Whyte and his staff have been documenting the renovation process on their social media accounts, gaining a large following of locals keeping up to the date with the shop’s progress.
This year, the store will mark 20 years of serving the local community in Togher, having first opened in 2003.
Following the fire, Mr Whyte has expressed how thankful he is that no one was injured during the incident.
The owner has not organised plans for a grand reopening of the new look store just yet but has stressed that:
“If we were to do something like a official ribbon cutting ceremony of something like that, I would get the staff to do it.
"There is no celebrity in the world that I would rather see cutting a ribbon to reopen the store than the girls and boys that work here. They have been outstanding.”