After 'heart wrenching' fire, the Green Pig will rise again, co-owner says

·2 min read
Dawn Beckwith sits on the front counter from the 1800s, one of the elements she said made the market special. (Submitted by Dawn Beckwith - image credit)
Dawn Beckwith sits on the front counter from the 1800s, one of the elements she said made the market special. (Submitted by Dawn Beckwith - image credit)

An "eclectic place" filled with items both antique and modern.

A community built on warmth and support.

The site of many students' first paycheques.

These are some of the many ways Dawn Beckwith, co-owner of the Green Pig Country Market, describes the popular spot known for its café and bakery, fresh produce, sunflowers and corn maze — before it burned down.

The building was destroyed by fire Monday night with nothing salvageable in the main structure, said Beckwith.

Constructed using old barn boards, Beckwith said when she arrived at the scene that night she knew there was no chance of containing the blaze.

Submitted by Dawn Beckwith
Submitted by Dawn Beckwith

She called the loss "heart wrenching."

"We kind of have a special charm in the market where things have accumulated through 15 years of being open," Beckwith said.

Roger Cosman/CBC
Roger Cosman/CBC

Antique hutches were used as display shelves. There was a counter dating back to the 1800s, and the tin ceiling came from the Red Bank General Store in Miramichi.

Beckwith's not sure how they'll ever replace those things that made the Green Pig special.

Outpouring of support

Since the fire, there have been messages and calls from community members, said Beckwith.

"I had no idea that we were loved on this level."

She said it's hard to believe their market touched so many people, even those who just dropped in as a highway stop.

There have been weddings among the sunflowers and annual back-to-school visits to the corn maze. And always, at the heart of everything, the connection to the people who come for their daily cup of coffee or loaf of fresh bread.

Submitted by Dawn Beckwith
Submitted by Dawn Beckwith

"We've just watched their lives kind of unfold, you know. They're here weekly getting groceries and we've seen their kids grow up."

Beckwith said right now, they're trying to get all of their vegetables picked. She said her dad was out on Tuesday morning after the fire picking the pumpkins and putting them into storage.

Roger Cosman/CBC
Roger Cosman/CBC

She said after Hurricane Fiona passes this weekend they hope to put a tent up and have fresh produce available by the end of the month.

"We have a lot to do but you know, we didn't get here by not being hard workers, so we're up for the challenge for sure," said Beckwith.  In peak season, there are around 60 people on the payroll, a lot of them local students.

Beckwith has spoken with their insurance company but she said there are a lot of different components to figure out. They are hoping to plan something as soon as possible, she said.

"We're not the last of the Green Pig," said Beckwith. "There's more to come."