Bob & LBF in the Morning

ROR Morning Show

North Andover Cafe Opens Again After Severe August Flood

After being shut down since August after the worst flooding in 100 years, the Good Day Cafe in North Andover is open again.  For folks in the area, this is really good news because it has quickly become a local favorite.  The cafe opened in January 2020 and was the dream come true of long time food service veteran Gregg Lindsay. [caption id="attachment_684392" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Owner of the Good Day Cafe Gregg Lindsay[/caption] Good Day Cafe is open for business I had a chance to sit with Gregg and ask him some questions about his restaurant's history and of course dealing with the massive flooding that devastated his business and shut the doors for months. Before the flood, you had to deal with the COVID shutdown.  How did you survive that after only be open for a couple of months? We did have online ordering so people just had to come in and pick up and go. We didn't have anybody in the restaurant, we just branched out and introduced new products that we could offer and we did dinners for pick up.  So, we just tried to flex and do whatever go through Covid. You made it through COVID and then wham, you're hit with a massive flood on August 8, 2023. What was that day like? We had the place full. I just got back from picking up some supplies. I was meeting with one of my reps and all of a sudden one of the service people next-door came in and said you better check your basement. Well we had water all over the place and it was up to the middle of the stairs. The water had come  up to a close to the ceiling in the basement. [caption id="attachment_684380" align="aligncenter" width="597"] The water came up the stairs from the basement.[/caption] Everything down there was just floating around.  I had some refrigeration, my compressor for my cooler and my water heater. We had a bunch of supplies down there a lot of seasonal stuff but, there was some equipment down there too, and then you know it really hit the fan and the alarms going off. It was chaos with the water rushing in non-stop How far did the water rise up inside?  It probably rose about four or 5 inches up from the main floor, which was enough to impact some equipment that was down the floor. The water went into the kitchen too. It was full of bacteria. Water was pretty much everywhere.  Did you have to pretty much gut the place? Oh yeah, you wouldn't recognize the building. We removed everything all the way down from the walls.  Insurance didn't cover everything, right? They basically covered the loss of perishable goods in the refrigeration and storage. We were lucky that National Grid  shut the power off, so we got some help from insurance because the perishables were a total loss. Then the landlord handled the rebuilding of the cafe thankfully and we couldn't be happier with the results. [caption id="attachment_684377" align="aligncenter" width="606"] Another scene from the flooding that devastated the cafe[/caption] How did you stay afloat after the flood ? (no pun intended)  We basically had to get whatever money I could over  the last few months to pay our bills and buy new equipment. A family friend set up a Go Fund  Me,  that was so helpful because so many people donated.  We had two fundraisers done for us. We did a lot of catering for the Y.M.C.A too. How much money do you think you were able to let people donated altogether?  I think it was probably around $65,000. The town was so great, I would go to the gas station  and grocery store and people were always very kind and generous and very supportive and encouraging.  So, Greg, what did you do before 2019?  Were you in the restaurant business? I worked at Clarks in Faneuil Hall in the 90s as a manager there. Then I left and went down to the Breakers in Palm Beach for a few years, came back up here with my wife. We got married and worked in several country clubs. I was at Essex County club, but I always wanted my own place because you work hard for everybody else.  What advice do you have for anybody who wants to open a restaurant or café  Just be prepared to put everything you have into it and because if you don't, you're not gonna make it. You have to really be prepared to sacrifice and get up and come in early when nobody else can because of scheduling conflict, or they're sick.  It’s business, you just can't say no say because you could've easily just said heck with it.  What made you want to go through the rebuilding process?  I couldn't see us fail. It’s been something that I wanted to do my whole life. I knew I wasn't going to have another shot at it, so it was either  make it happen or go back to what I was doing before, and I wasn't satisfied with that thought. Best of luck to you and the folks at Good Day Cafe!

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