Eat Local Huron 'on hold' following devastating fire

A new “eat local” venture in Huron County is temporarily out of business following a fire this morning near Westfield.

“Started out like any other day. Tuesdays are our busy day for receiving product from local producers, then we getting things packed up for deliveries on Wednesday. But, then I smelled smoke, and we really don’t know what else has happened,” says Courtney Lang, General Manager of Eat Local Huron.

Eat Local Huron connects local food producers with consumers, through a non-profit food delivery service. This was only their third week up and running, when tragedy struck Tuesday morning.

A fire in the attic of their warehouse in Westfield, forced an evacuation, and ultimately a call to North Huron firefighters to extinguish, what appears to be an electrical fire. This week’s produce ruined, with more questions than answers about the immediate future about the grassroots “local food” organization.

“We’re so passionate about it, and just so grateful for the response so far, so this is a pretty major setback, but we will figure it out,” says Eat Local Huron volunteer, Gemma James-Smith.

In the short-term, Eat Local Huron, is at least temporarily out of business. At least until they can find another warehouse-type location to receive, sort, and package local produce from across Huron County, in.

“Next we have to figure out where we’re going to house this, how much of the equipment is salvageable, how much we have to get in new. We’ll have to go through insurance, likely,” says Eat Local Huron Board Chair, Chris Spaleta.

The physical home of Eat Local Huron may be in question, but the goal remains the same.

“We’ll rebuild. The mission is still strong and the support from people has been great the first two weeks, so we know there’s a need and want for this in the community. Something like this, isn’t going to stop that,” says Lang.

North Huron fire investigators suspect the fire was electrical in nature, and peg damage at over $100,000. Eat Local Huron says they’ll be in touch with customers to cancel this week’s orders.