Sumner businesses still recovering after devastating fire swept through downtown over a year ago

SUMNER, Wash. — It’s been over a year since a fire swept through a historical building in downtown Sumner, forcing some businesses to shut down and others to start over.

Some affected businesses were able to re-open their doors after a brief closure but others are stuck in limbo not sure when they’ll re-open theirs.

‘Valley Social Wine Bar and Tasting Room’ was open for only three weeks before the fire burned down the building sharing a wall with them. Despite minimal damage to their business, they were forced to gut their building and start from scratch, a process that was expected to last maybe a few months.

“But now going past a year, we’re paying rent and we can’t occupy so that has been a bummer,” said co-owner of Valley Social, Shawn Harris.

Shawn and her business partner, Melinda Jobst are longtime locals and friends who were given the option to leave after the fire but opted to stay to see this new adventure through.

Downtown Sumner’s Main Street is small but incredibly charming.

“We keep to the charm of old Main Streets I think and because all the businesses are all individually owned and we’re not like any major chain I think we offer that diversity and personality people enjoy,” said longtime business owner and Sumner native LuAnn Iselin

Iselin’s store ‘A Picket Fence’ sits right across the street from where the fire occurred last year. Luckily her store was unaffected by the fire, smoke, or water used to put the fire out.

With around seven businesses taken out because of this fire, Melinda and Shawn are working tirelessly to get their wine bar and gelato shop up and running as soon as possible despite being met with a series of delays.

“It just feels like it’s one step forward two steps back the whole time,” said Melinda.

But when asked when a reopening she said, “Optimistically we would like to be open in the beginning of January.”

While their doors will not be open during the holidays yet again, there are still ways you can support this local business.

Valley Social is still attending community pop-ups, offering special promotions, and is licensed to do tastings. To get in touch with them or to stay up to date on their reopening, go here.