SOMERVILLE, NJ – Shaun Daley and Michelle Mundt hosted an impromptu sidewalk sale outside their Main Street store Sunday, trying to make the best of a bad situation.
They will also testify to the wisdom of a “soft opening” to any budding retailer looking for advice.
Gallery on Main, an art gallery and antiques store that specializes in framing and photo restoration was gearing up for its Grand Opening May 7 but with just two weeks to go, disaster struck sometime between 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.
A water pipe in the ceiling burst and sent a cascade of water down the walls, covering the newly-installed floor in four inches of water before seeping through the front door, across the sidewalk and into the street.
The Somerville fire department was already inside the store shutting down the water when Daley arrived Sunday morning; Mundt was right behind him.
“I had a five-minute meltdown but I got myself together; it’s unfortunate, but you know it’s a test of our strength. We’re dealing with it and we just have to move forward, there’s nothing nothing else you can do,” she said.
“Luckily we didn’t lose much of anything. That’s a big positive in a lousy situation,” she added.
Industrial fans and a dehumidifying system are working overtime in the store to dry out the floor, the walls and the base of the furniture and display cabinets.
“We actually had a pretty good Sunday, despite it all,” Mundt said. “We put all of our stuff out there on the sidewalk in front of the store; it dried off, nothing was damaged and we sold some stuff.”
The partners had opened their doors just four days prior to the flood, describing it as a soft opening. They are determined to celebrate their Grand Opening as scheduled.
“I think we’ll be ready to go; we’re going to stay on track with what we have to do,” Mundt said.