There was perhaps some wishful thinking at work when owners of Sebastopol's landmark feed store hung a banner last spring announcing the business would reopen late this summer.
But a year after a fire set by an arsonist gutted the Frizelle Enos Feeds building, laid waste to its inventory, and put about 20 people out of work, plans, though delayed, are still in place to rebuild and welcome customers back this year.
Tennyson and Linda Tucker, owners of the Petaluma Avenue structure — or, rather, the four propped-up walls that are left — said the look of the place, its eclectic mix of merchandise, and even some of the personnel will be the same or similar to what they were once a building permit is in hand and reconstruction can be completed.
The vintage red-and-white checkerboard pattern around the exterior walls, familiar to patrons and passersby alike, will remain, as well.
One significant feature will change, however: The business will be known, henceforth, as The Feed Store.
The Tuckers, their daughter, Stacey Renati, and her husband, Tony, who will run the place, don't own the longtime Frizelle Enos name, so they and their clients will have to relinquish their attachment to it.
Claim to Frizelle Enos resides with two remaining partners who purchased the business from the Tuckers four years ago, expanded into Penngrove, and still operate the sister store on Penngrove's Main Street.
Tenny Tucker concedes giving up the name “is kinda tough” for his family, which has ties to the store going back two decades.
But his daughter, a former employee who will be leasing the building with her husband, the store's longtime general manager, said even under a different name, “It's home to us.”
“We raised our kids there. They both worked there. Our niece and nephew worked there...It was a family business,” Stacey Renati said. “We're going to bring it back.”