The Happy Cook Reopens After Damaging Fire - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

The Happy Cook Reopens After Damaging Fire

Posted: Updated: Feb 2, 2013 07:08 PM EST

After 26 days of darkness, things are looking brighter for The Happy Cook. Customers swarmed the store Saturday to welcome the staff back.

Nearly a month after a blaze shut down The Happy Cook in Charlottesville's Barracks Road Shopping Center, the store's owner and customers are celebrating.

"We're just excited to be back open and to be doing what we love doing," said Monique Moshier, The Happy Cook's owner.

After a fire next door at Plow and Hearth, The Happy Cook team snapped into action, cleaning and clearing out the store, repainting and replacing the ceiling and floors, and in just two days filling the store with all the merchandise.

The Happy Cook became the first store with major damage from the fire to reopen. Ann Taylor Loft and Plow and Hearth are still closed. But The Happy Cook doesn't escape unscathed.

"Between the loss in sales and the repairs and restoration, I think we're well into the 250 to 300 thousand dollar range," Moshier said.

Now, shoppers are letting this team know they've been missed.

"The staff here is fabulously helpful and I'm just very pleased that they're back, I was sorry that they had to go through what they did but it looks like they're back better than ever," said Randi Whitlow, a shopper.

"It looks beautiful, everything's back to the way it was and even better, which is what their focus was is to turn a negative into a positive," said Martha Green, a fellow shopper.

The outpouring of support is a comforting end to a long haul.

"When you're closed for that long, you're always concerned about losing customers, people forgetting about you, you're always concerned that people need things and they have to go other places to get them," Moshier said. "It's been great just to have people say hello and indicate that they've been thinking about us and that they're glad to see us back open again."

The Happy Cook is inviting customers to help celebrate the re-opening. They're having a storewide 20-percent off sale next weekend.

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