New Brunswick

Moncton's Dolma Food, destroyed by fire, finds temporary home

Customers of Dolma Food in Moncton will not have to wait long to shop again. The store and café was completely destroyed by fire on Jan. 3, but new spaces are being developed quickly.

Café will reopen first, then food store to follow soon after

Hossein Barar and his employees are getting the new site of the Dolma Cafe ready. (CBC)

Customers of Dolma Food in Moncton will not have to wait long to shop again now that the store, which was destroyed by a fire earlier this month, has found a temporary home.

The Jan. 3, fire left nothing but rubble at store's location on St. George Street in downtown Moncton.

Hossein Barar, the store's owner, is already renovating a space across the street from the old location, in the Commerce House office building.

Moncton firefighter Brian McDonald took this image of the Dolma Food fire Jan. 4. (Submitted by Brian McDonald)
He has ordered equipment and applied for permits and hopes it will be the new, permanent home for the Dolma Café.

"If it's not next week, [the] week after we should be able to serve customers," he said.

The café will serve the same light fare as before, and will include Dolma's sushi bar.

Barar is also close to finding a temporary home for the grocery store.

He's narrowed it down to a couple of vacant spaces on St. George Street and hopes to make it as close to the original Dolma Foods as possible.

I built every single shelf myself.- Hossein Barar, Dolma Foods

"This is the idea. We're not going to change anything in the principle. Local meat, local vegetable. Everything is going to be the same," he said.

But Barar added that some grocery products may not be stocked due to the smaller space.

Employees back to work

All of Barar's employees are currently helping with the preparations for the two new locations.

Barar was surprised to find out earlier in the week that his insurance policy covered their lost wages.

"It was [a] huge relief," says Barar.

"They're not just employees, they're part of the Dolma family."

Barar watched as his Dolma Food store was gutted by fire. (CBC)
The long-term plan is to move the grocery store and sushi bar back to the original location once it is rebuilt.

For Barar, it's comforting to know a modern building will one day go up at the same address, but he still feels the loss of his original vision.

"At the end of the day, in that old Dolma, every single thing you see, I picked myself, and I built every single shelf myself. Six years, seven days [a week], and I don't think anything can replace that feeling for me."


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