Wovar reopens within a week after fire: “Our insurance company had never experienced this in thirty years”

Justin (marketing manager), Jesse (director) and Vince (operations manager) in front of their new building at Narvikweg. Photo: submitted

Screws and hardware store Wovar are back in business. One week after the fire, materials can be ordered again. Justin Meppelink from the company says he is proud.

Hey Justin! It sounds like a bad question after what you’ve been through, but I think there’s a lot of happiness …
“Absolutely. We are very happy that we were able to get the company ‘up and running’ again so quickly. Many thanks to our employees who have worked very long days over the past week to get the best out of it, and thank you very much to the various companies and entrepreneurs who have helped us. Without them, none of this would have happened so quickly. “

Back to last Saturday, when a fire broke out around noon.
“Yes, terrible. You never hope to experience something like that. And it happened to us anyway. But the same evening we also started to make a plan how we should proceed. We immediately contacted the insurance company. This continued on Sunday, and among other things. thanks to a message on LinkedIn from our director Jesse, we could see a building on Narvikweg on Monday.On Monday afternoon we had the key.This place was already for rent and we knew the real estate agent who was in it from the move to Emdenweg.It “has helped enormously. The owner of the building on Narvikweg was no stranger to us either. Our insurance company said that what we have achieved is that he has never experienced anything like this in the thirty years he has been active.”

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The fire on Emdenweg reduced Wovar’s company to ashes. Photo: submitted

Now it sounds very easy. Brand in your business. And start immediately with a plan to continue. Many entrepreneurs would have their hands in their hair with something like this …
“You can give up, but you also have to move on. And that, of course, is annoying. But we are lucky that all our data is in the cloud. So all that has been saved. Have we not lost anything? Of course it is. Part of our warehouse, but also personal businesses. For example, we had a beautiful bar in the building, Wobar. It’s not there anymore. Most importantly, no one was hurt. Colleagues have said that if only I had worked in the building, I could have intervened in time. But this fire has probably been able to develop so quickly, and yes it’s a shame that a lot of things are gone, but our team is still here. It is the most important.”

I also think it helped a lot that you are located in several places, right?
“Correct. In addition to the building that burned, we also have buildings on Rouaanstraat and Emdenweg 3a. A lot of materials are stored. That is also the reason why we can now move on quickly. As I told you, we got the key on Monday to the building on Narvikweg. Then we set up everything with racks, supplies and to get control of all systems. You can order again from Friday night. “

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The damage after the fire was extensive. Photo: Mike Weening – Weening Photography

How big is the offer at the moment?
“I think we can offer twenty percent of our offer at the moment. You will understand that we have also started placing orders like crazy to get the range completely complete again. Some products can be delivered quickly, with other items it will It’s also due to the geopolitical situation in the world. It does not really help us either. The fact is that a lot of materials are coming in the near future, so a lot of work still needs to be done to get it all in order. that’s fine. “

Last Wednesday, the councilor spoke about the fire. He said two companies were able to find temporary housing on Narvikweg. But that we must not forget that the coming time will not be easy for these companies …
“That’s right. It will really take time before we get back to the old level. It will take several months, depending on various factors. But we are confident. And I think that is the most important thing.”

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