Abaco retailer vows to get ‘back up and running’
NASSAU, BAHAMAS- A prominent Abaco retailer has vowed to get his grocery stores ‘back up and running’, citing their importance to Abaco’s revival.
Chad Sawyer, owner of the Maxwell’s and Price Right food stores told Eyewitness News his Man O War Grocery Store in Man O War Cay reopened last Thursday.
Sawyer now has his sights set on reopening his Maxwell’s Grocery Store on November 7.
“We will get back up and running,” he said. “Our job is to feed the people, get the business open and get Abaco running again. Without the grocery store and medical necessities people aren’t going to come back. Everyone I’ve run into wants to come back once stuff is in place.
“We’re looking at being opening Maxwell’s by the first Thursday in November which is November 7. We are going to be restocking but we are still waiting on the ships that can bring general cargo,” he continued.
“There are ships coming into Abaco bringing in supplies and equipment. Our stuff for the store, the ships have not been able to get to. We already opened the Man O War Grocery Store which opened October 3. Maxwell’s will open November 7 and then our Price Right location will take a bit longer and that will be in January.”
Sawyer noted that some 160 to 170 persons are employed across his retail outlets. He said he still does not have an estimate on damages and had no insurance on the properties.
“Maxwell’s had minor roof damage,” Sawyer said.
“A few pieces of mental sheeting blew off and we had to order that. It should be in Abaco by next week or the week after that but we put a temporary patch on it. We lost our main 50,000 square foot warehouse, we lost our Price Right store and we lost Guana Harbour Grocery on Great Guana Cay,” he said.
Sawyer acknowledged looting in Dorian’s aftermath, calling some of the activities “outright theft”.
“We saw some of that, some of it was just outright theft. People were desperate and when stuff is all out in the street of course they will take it.
“It got worse after that however where people would go in and break in stores, break out the shutters and glass and stole stuff. We saw people going down the street with flat screen televisions that had been sitting in water and holding them up like trophies.
Sawyer added: “It literally made no sense. I mean, what are you going to do with something like that.”