MORE than 15 months after Frederick’s IGA at Jamberoo burned to the ground, the new store opened at 8am on Friday morning without the fanfare that will highlight its ‘official’ opening on April 12, but the relief on the faces of Trevor Fredericks and Carmel Goldsmith was there for all to see.
After having worked feverishly in the lead-up and having had about an hour’s sleep, the couple greeted the first customers with grins, as glass was still being installed in the doors.
Jamberoo townsfolk were devastated when a fire gutted the historic building in the early hours of December 17, 2012. Encouraged by the community’s support, the family established a makeshift shop across the road and began planning a rebuild on the original site.
“The community spirit that was shown in the days after the fire was heart-warming and while it was wonderful to be able to trade again so soon, I think everyone felt the loss of the old shop deeply and the interest as the new building took shape was incredible,” Trevor Fredericks said.
“To see the enthusiasm of the customers as they streamed through the doors at 8am on Friday was overwhelming.”
Local couple Heather and Warren Argerakis, whose son Luke works at the shop, said seeing the shop up and running again was incredible.
“It feels like Jamberoo again,” Mrs Argerakis said.
“Fredo’s is such an important part of this community – it’s the social hub of the town where people catch up for a chat.”
The Fredericks’ have left no stone unturned to make the new shop fit in to the historic look of the old shop and for anyone who remembered the old shop and didn’t know of the dramas of the last 15 months, could be excused for not noticing a great deal of difference from the outside, despite ongoing work to finish the exterior in time for the official opening on Saturday, April 12.
“The inside is bigger and a bit more spacious, but we have tried to maintain the old ‘Freddos’ look,” Mrs Fredericks said.
The official opening will include a massive street party with entertainment, a photographic competition and art trail.