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From left Nathan Godwin talks with friend Mike Johnstone of Goodwin & Son’s Market in the new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
From left Nathan Godwin talks with friend Mike Johnstone of Goodwin & Son’s Market in the new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
UPDATED:

For the first time in 14 months, Crestline residents are able to shop at their local grocery store.

The devastating blizzard that hit the San Bernardino Mountains in February and March 2023 caved in the roof of Goodwin & Son’s Market, destroying Crestline’s only grocery store.

“It was the hardest thing our company has ever gone through,” company vice-president Mike Johnstone said Wednesday, May 9. “We literally watched our livelihood and everything we had known fall to the ground.”

The company had good insurance, he said. Good enough, in fact, to keep paying many of their 120 employees during the rebuilding process.

Since then, the store has operated pop-up markets, selling a handful of essential items as they rebuilt.

On Monday afternoon, San Bernardino County gave the company its final approval: The store could reopen. After working overnight on the finishing touches, the owners reopened the store at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“And within minutes, we had hundreds of people” shopping, Johnstone said.

An official grand opening will take place on Aug. 20.

At midday Wednesday, there wasn’t an available spot in the parking lot. Inside the store, some customers pushed two full shopping carts at a time through the aisles.

“I think everybody’s been anticipating this so much, they were really excited to see us open,” Johnstone said.

An older woman interrupted, touching his forearm and interjecting: “We really appreciate you.”

“Thank you,” Johnstone said, smiling.

The napkin holders have photos of Crestline in the new eating area at Goodwin & Son's Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
The napkin holders have photos of Crestline in the new eating area at Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Out of the carnage came opportunity.

Johnstone said his uncle, CFO Martin Goodwin, “had the vision of doing this” completely redesigned store.

The new store’s façade looks like a Swiss chalet. Inside is an elevated dining area offering an unobstructed view of Lake Gregory and a fireplace to gather around in winter months.

“The vision was this is the community gathering place,” Johnstone said. “This is where everybody comes, this is where everybody meets, this is where everybody has coffee in the morning. We have people who eat three meals a day with us.

“So we wanted to keep the same feel as the old store — it’s generational, you know — but we wanted to just upgrade it and make it nice and new, with the same feel.”

The store’s layout is the same as the previous store, which was actually the second Goodwin & Son’s, built in 1984. The original store, built in 1946, is now a hardware store.

At the new store, the deli, produce and meat departments are in the same place as in the store destroyed last year. A sign written on butcher’s paper in the deli section reads “we are so happy to see you again!”

But the Goodwins expanded their previously small soda fountain by combining it with their coffee and juice bar that once occupied another part of the store.

Shoppers enjoy Goodwin & Son's Market new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Shoppers enjoy Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

To make the most of the rebuilding, Goodwins and team members toured more than 40 well-regarded grocery stores across California.

“We’ve kind of pulled pieces of all the different features we liked from this department or that and we put it all together on a Pinterest (style) board and pushed that to the designers,” Johnstone said. “And then they ran with it.”

In addition to the insurance payment received for storm-related damages, the family sank its own money into the new store.

“It was a commitment from our family to say if we’re going to do this, let’s do this right,” Johnstone said. “Let’s go big. Let’s do this thing that’s going to solidify us for generations and make this more of a community hub that will keep us relevant and strong for years to come.”

  • Enjoying lunch from left are Leann Snee, Andrea Snee, Patrick...

    Enjoying lunch from left are Leann Snee, Andrea Snee, Patrick Snee, 2, and Abby Snee, 3, all of Crestline at the Soda Fountain counter of the new Goodwin & Son’s Market in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Minni Jo of Crestline snaps a photo of the new...

    Minni Jo of Crestline snaps a photo of the new Goodwin & Son’s Market as she says, “It’s beautiful” in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Shoppers Nicole Kesner and daughter Sierra Kesner, 2, of Crestline...

    Shoppers Nicole Kesner and daughter Sierra Kesner, 2, of Crestline enjoy Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A shopper enjoys fresh produce at Goodwin & Son’s Market...

    A shopper enjoys fresh produce at Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Fresh fudge in many flavors if offered at Goodwin &...

    Fresh fudge in many flavors if offered at Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • The deli makes sandwiches to order at Goodwin & Son’s...

    The deli makes sandwiches to order at Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Checkers help customers in the new Goodwin & Son’s Market...

    Checkers help customers in the new Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Fresh made sodas in many flavors are offered at the...

    Fresh made sodas in many flavors are offered at the new Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • The new Goodwin & Son’s Market offers thanks to all...

    The new Goodwin & Son’s Market offers thanks to all shoppers as they exit the store in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Some dogs stay in the car as others shop with...

    Some dogs stay in the car as others shop with their humans at the new Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • An employee returns shopping carts to the storage area on...

    An employee returns shopping carts to the storage area on the new Goodwin & Son’s Market. The old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A Goodwin & Son’s Market employee talks with a guest...

    A Goodwin & Son’s Market employee talks with a guest in the new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Shoppers enjoy Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the...

    Shoppers enjoy Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A shopper and his dog walk through the produce department...

    A shopper and his dog walk through the produce department of the new Goodwin & Son’s Market in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Sierra Kesner, 2, of Crestline peers over the shopping cart...

    Sierra Kesner, 2, of Crestline peers over the shopping cart handle as her mother Nicole Kesner shops at Goodwin & Son’s Market in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Shoppers Nicole Kesner and daughter Sierra Kesner, 2, of Crestline...

    Shoppers Nicole Kesner and daughter Sierra Kesner, 2, of Crestline enjoy Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Goodwin & Son’s Market cashier Shell Mills talks with a...

    Goodwin & Son’s Market cashier Shell Mills talks with a customer during checkout in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Goodwin & Son’s Market soda fountain has many items for...

    Goodwin & Son’s Market soda fountain has many items for sale in the new stair after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • The history of Goodwin & Son’s Market in photos with...

    The history of Goodwin & Son’s Market in photos with co founders on display in the new store in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A fire place and couches with books to read in...

    A fire place and couches with books to read in the new eating area at Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Checkers help customers in the new Goodwin & Son’s Market...

    Checkers help customers in the new Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Goodwin & Son’s Market deli offers many types of fresh...

    Goodwin & Son’s Market deli offers many types of fresh bread in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • The wine and spirits section of the new Goodwin &...

    The wine and spirits section of the new Goodwin & Son’s Market in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • From left Nathan Godwin talks with friend Mike Johnstone of Goodwin...

    From left Nathan Godwin talks with friend Mike Johnstone of Goodwin & Son’s Market in the new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • The napkin holders have photos of Crestline in the new...

    The napkin holders have photos of Crestline in the new eating area at Goodwin & Son’s Market after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Shoppers enjoy Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the...

    Shoppers enjoy Goodwin & Son’s Market new store after the old store was destroyed by a blizzard 14 months ago. The store reopened in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • The new Goodwin & Son’s Market is oren and now...

    The new Goodwin & Son’s Market is oren and now has an up stairs eating area and fireplace for customers to enjoy their food if they like in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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And perhaps the most important part of the redesign: making sure nothing like the March 2023 disaster happens to the market again.

“At the beginning, we were thinking, ‘man, this is excessive,’ ” Johnstone said. “It’s over-engineered, you know. But as we started going through it, (we thought) it’s better to overbuild. We don’t want anything like (that) happening.”

The new roof can handle almost twice the weight that the old roof could, and has four times as many drains to handle runoff.

“It’s built for snow,” Johnstone said. “It’s built for strength.”

The new store has an open structure inside. The massive beams of wood and steel support structures are visible reassurances to customers: This store isn’t going anywhere.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the last name of Mike Johnstone, the company’ vice-president.

The new Goodwin & Son's Market is oren and now has an up stairs eating area and fireplace for customers to enjoy their food if they like in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
The new Goodwin & Son’s Market is oren and now has an up stairs eating area and fireplace for customers to enjoy their food if they like in Crestline on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

More on the 2023 winter storms

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