Last Monday, Trevor Fredericks and Carmel Goldsmith stood in the main street of Jamberoo staring at a smouldering building that had been home to the Fredericks IGA Jamberoo.
This morning ‘‘Fredo’s’’ will reopen for business, albeit in temporary premises, after an army of volunteers yesterday helped turn the old arts precinct building next to the Jamberoo Pub into a supermarket.
A team of 50 Jamberoo locals, armed with everything from brooms to chainsaws, threw their support behind the Fredericks family in a bid to get the town’s general store up and running again.
Kiama High School has even donated the school canteen’s milk fridge for use over the school holiday period.
‘‘It is just incredible,’’ Mr Fredericks said yesterday, standing in the middle of a working bee whirlwind.
‘‘Everyone wanted to help and they have transformed this place... everyone is so excited something is happening.’’
Mr Fredericks intends to open to the public at 8am today, the quick reopening a bonus for the store’s pool of 12 casual staff.
‘‘We will have something open in a very basic format, but there is some room to move in this building to expand gradually.
‘‘We are still waiting on some fixtures and refrigeration and hopefully by late next week we will have a pretty good offering.’’
Mr Fredericks’ wife, Carmel Goldsmith, said the backing of the community had spurred them on.
‘‘Without that community support we would have probably crawled into a hole,’’ Ms Goldsmith said.
‘‘So many options were made available to us and that has made this doable.
"We have contacted so many people and everyone is just saying 'yes', everyone from Vivienne at Elders to the milko, the ladies at the high school ... everyone is saying yes."
Also lending a hand at the working bee yesterday, broom in hand, was Mr Fredericks' 89-year-old father, Alwyn, who worked in the family business in Jamberoo from the age of 14.
Alwyn is still coming to terms with Monday's fire.
"It was a big blow to the family," he said.
But he, too, was overwhelmed with yesterday's turnout.
"There is a lot of people here today, young ones and older people," he said. "I didn't think all this could happen so quickly ... it is a great thing."
Christmas decorations and messages have sprung up on the fence around the shell of the heritage-listed building that was gutted by fire on Monday.