Buckeye Lake Winery: A Business Overcoming Adversity
Buckeye Lake Winery, located in Thornville, Ohio has survived through many hardships in the past couple of years, the most recent of them being a kitchen fire about three weeks ago.
In the middle of the night, at about 12:45 a.m, eight fire departments were called to the scene. Upon arrival, firefighters saw smoke billowing out from part of the roof and flames leaping through a broken window. The fire was contained within a half hour, saving most of the building from major damage. Chief Robert Price of the Walnut Township Fire Department stated that the fire “incinerated everything in the kitchen,” but managed to miss the office and the rest of the restaurant.
The winery’s owner, Tracy Higgineotham, was glad no one got hurt, but was devastated at the destruction that will take up most of the busy season to repair. Higgineotham estimated that the winery will be shut down for three to four months while the kitchen gets fixed up.
Businesses are now just beginning to open up and take off again after enduring hefty losses from the pandemic. Higgineotham will be forced to get creative to keep up with the competition. The winery had already been suffering from the Buckeye Lake Dam project before the pandemic hit. Water levels were low, causing any activities on the water to come to a screeching halt. The business took a hit as a result of the dam project, and the pandemic certainly hasn’t helped in terms of profit.
However, the community has come together to show its support for the winery after the tragic fire. They aren’t willing to let the place sink, as some locals claim that the lake is unique and has a lot of history. Others state that Buckeye Lake Winery is the perfect place to gather with friends and family. Higgineotham is grateful for the amount of assistance that the community has shown.
“It’s amazing the amount of community support, the local bars and restaurants, our patrons, local governments, how willing they are to lend a hand to get us up and running and open…”
Now, because of all the abundant support, the winery is already preparing to open up again. They plan on having food trucks in place of a kitchen, and live music every weekend to entice visitors and celebrate the tight-knit community.
As another exciting attraction, the owner is holding a rowing event for the local youth ranging from ages twelve to eighteen. Rowing clubs from Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Westerville are coming in to teach the kids about coastal rowing. The sport allows kids to engage with nature as well as participate in physical activity, promoting healthy habits all around.
Even after the barriers produced by the dam, the pandemic, and the fire, Buckeye Lake Winery looks like they’re getting back on their feet!