Willey Farms opens the second phase of their reconstruction, dubbed The Mercantile, on Thursday, November 7, 2019 just two days past the one year anniversary of a fire that decimated the family run business.

The Mercantile will hold the gift shop in what was the family barn.

Gretchen Willey-Gill says it was the only large free standing structure to survive the fire and actually pre-dates the business itself.

"Mom and Dad built the house, built that barn, and then probably fifteen years later is when Willey Farms started."

She still remembers where the animals, including Charlotte the cow, resided.

"When I was in middle school it was cows and pigs."

WDEL got a preview of the new shop including pristine Christmas decorations, table linens and china, and more.

It's the second phase of a rebuild that has included opening a new produce market in an abandoned building just north of the original main complex on the suggestion of her brother Chris.

"And it was empty and he said 'Let's go look and see what we can do over there.'"

The produce market opened in May a month or so after the Farms held a grand re-opening.

Willey-Gill credits the community, customers and vendors for their ongoing support in getting the business back up and running.

"The magic has been wonderful," she said.

And Willey-Gill says they're not done yet.

"Oh we've got plans, don't you worry."

TrafficWatch & News Reporter for WDEL/WSTW 1989 - 1993 and back again for Round Two starting in February, 2015 after spending a decade in Chicago and another six years in Boston.