Yesterday, beloved farmers market vendor Sea Breeze Farm suffered an enormous loss when a fire broke out at their Vashon Island restaurant. Chef Michael McQuaid was able to contain the fire at La Boucherie restaurant, but not before a loss of over 50 thousand dollars occurred.
"The smokehouse is totally destroyed, which is a five thousand dollar replacement. The walk-in was severely damaged, somewhere in the 15-25 thousand dollar range," Owner George Andrew Page III tells Eater. With the addition of lost product and revenue of $30K, they've started a GoFundMe to try to recoup the losses with the help of generous meat lovers.
It started when the smokehouse caught fire under routine use, Page says. "They did the normal start-up routine in the morning. But for some reason, the smokehouse ignited and was destroyed." That fire traveled to the adjacent walk-in cooler facility and caused the extensive damage to the roof, wall panels, and electrical, while also destroying the product inside.
"We're doing our best to move quickly to raise and slaughter, and to produce replacement product, get a smoker back online, and replace the walk-in," Page explains of next steps. However, they're not sure if insurance will cover the damages, but are already working to file claims. They're worried about the amount of time such processes often take, considering they need money immediately to continue their business selling fresh meat.
Page tells Eater that without Chef McQuaid's quick response, they would have lost the La Boucherie restaurant, which serves dinner on Fridays and Saturdays from 6-9PM. They'll be open this weekend, as they're using nearby refrigeration facilities to store their existing inventory. They'll also be at their weekly markets at University District, Ballard, Columbia City, and Bellevue while staff works around the clock to replace product and start repairing the damage.