Tornado damage puts strain on Renaissance Community Co-op

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- If you walk inside the Renaissance Community Co-op grocery store in northeast Greensboro, you’ll notice the empty shelves.

“We had no fresh meat at all. So, now we have that. Like this had to get all wiped out,” said General Manager Mike Sakellaridis, as he walked through the meat section.

“All of the Minute Maids and orange juices had to go. All the milk you know. All the thousands and thousands of dollars of product out the door,” he explained, as he made a right headed towards the frozen foods aisle.

Sunday’s tornado shut off the power for several days. It forced the store to close Monday.

Workers spent the week tossing out or giving away somewhere between $25,000 and $40,000 worth of food.

This has been giant task to oversee for Sakellaridis.

“I mean literally day one we got a tornado. So, someone trusts me with this test. So, I’m going to make the best of it,” he said.

He’s Renaissance Co-op’s new general manager. He just moved to Greensboro from California a few weeks ago.

“It gives us a chance to engage with community once again. A lot of what we disposed of was at a point where it could no longer be sold,” Sakellaridis said.

He says this is a good opportunity for the store to get a fresh start.

“As long as there is some support, it's a good time for this kind of emergency because I have enough time and a little bit of a buffer that I can design a better plan for when we don't have a lifeline,” Sakellaridis said.

“Yeah, it's a lot to look at. It's a lot to see that. It's a lot to tell people we don't have a lot of work for you today, but we'll survive it,” he said.

The store hopes things get back to normal by Tuesday when a fresh shipment of food and other items arrive.

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