CAIRO IGA has remained closed since the March 3 tornado, but store officials say the local grocery will reopen later this year.
Cairo IGA has been shuttered since a tornado ripped through Cairo on March 3, but company officials say the store will be reopening later this year with expanded offerings in the meat, produce and frozen food section.
“We are working as fast as we can to get the store reopened, but one thing depends on another and until all of the roof repairs are completed we cannot complete everything else we are doing,” said operations supervisor Charles (Chuck) Hanks with Bob & Jeff’s IGA, which is the parent company of Cairo IGA.
Hanks said when the tornado hit, local and area contractors were already committed to other projects in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which struck this area last October.
“We are trying to use as many local contractors as possible to keep the money in the community. We may could have gone outside the area and gotten the work done faster, but we were trying to do all of our business locally,” Hanks said.
Compounding the issue, Hanks says that when the roofing materials were delivered they were damaged and were rejected by the contractor. Due to the demand for roofing materials there is a delay in vendors filling orders, but Hanks is hopeful that the roof repairs will be wrapped up shortly.
Hanks said the old drop ceiling has been removed and the air conditioning duct work and related items have been raised and the plan is for better insulation of the store. New wall treatments are planned and the operations supervisor says the store will be completely redone from floor to ceiling.
“About a year before the tornado, we had replaced approximately half of the refrigerated cases and we are replacing the rest so all of our cases will be updated. We are installing LED lighting throughout,” he said.
Hanks said a fifth register and checkout station is being added to better accommodate shoppers.
“We will have 20 doors of frozen food which greatly expands our variety of frozen food. We are also expanding our assortment of fresh meats and produce in addition to frozen foods,” Hanks said.
The Cairo IGA official was hesitant to predict an exact reopening date, but said he was hopeful the store can be back open by early to mid-September.
“It’s just so hard to say, because one thing has to be done before the next and the next. We are looking forward to reopening and serving our many local customers and welcome new shoppers to come give us a try,” Hanks said.