Photo By: Stephen Radford from Unsplash

Last week, a large structure fire devastated the family-owned Hernder Estate Winery in St. Catharines. 

Approximately 60 firefighters from Niagara Falls, Thorold, Pelham, West Niagara, West Lincoln, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, were onsite. They were able to save the warehouse and production facility, but were not able to save the original barn. There were no major injuries, only two individuals reported to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation, who have since recovered. 

“Crews made an absolutely incredible stop to hold that fire to the area of origin of the banquet facility and storefront. And so we lost kind of the front, say, 25 per cent of the facility, but we were able to save the other 75 per cent of the facility,” said Dave Upper, St. Catharines fire chief, in an interview with CBC.

On the day of the fire, the winery was hosting the Mom Market Collective craft show, with over 30 local businesses in attendance. Many of the vendors lost most, if not all, of their inventory. For some, this meant several months’ worth of handiwork, suddenly gone up in flames. 

“With regards to the fire at Hernder Estate Wines, St. Catharines Fire Services stated that damages are estimated at $7 million (building and its contents),” read a statement from the City of St. Catharines.

The Mom Market Collective, who was hosting the event, has since set up a GoFundMe page for the vendors who lost their merchandise.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved and affected. We understand this is a difficult time and are diligently working on coming to a resolution for everyone who suffered a loss due to this devastating occurrence,” said the Mom Market Collective in their online fundraiser description. “These amazing businesses have lost so much of their livelihood. We would love to be able to give these vendors some relief for all that was lost in the fire.”

In addition to donating, many members of the Niagara community have placed orders with the vendors to be fulfilled once their inventory has been restocked, and shared messages of support. Those interested in contributing are encouraged to check out the vendors’ websites and social media platforms.

As of Saturday, April 2, the fund has surpassed its goal of $50,000 and is currently sitting at $51,640. These funds will be distributed among the following vendors: Cool Mom Studio, Soft & Still Co., Bella Buddha Beads, Two Dapper Pupz, Mellona Honey Products, Color Street, Keep Me Wild, Sarah’s Soaps, MILU Studios, H and H Baby Chews, Dirty Leather, Gray Home & Co., Taurus Terrazzo, Windwick Farm Freeze Dried Experience, Discovery Toys, Scheer Luck Yoga, Kitchen Cat Textiles, Lip Service Beauty, Little Peanut Boutique, Origami Owl/Think Goodness, Special-Tea Cards, Aleksandra Jewellery, Sweet Seamz, Limb, The Infinity Woodbox, Paz Bakery, Norwex Independent Consultant, Creative Inspirations 7, Denver’s Lab, Memory Lane Crafts, George’s Wood Works, Brown Sugar Decors, Captured By Klassen, and Lincoln Humane Society Table.