Ortley Beach Bakery reopens after superstorm devastation
The aroma of fresh Italian bread can be smelled again drifting from Fumosa Brothers Bakery on Route 35 in Ortley Beach. Owner Tim Fumosa is back in business on weekends, more than three-and-a-half years after his shop was filled with nearly six feet of water during Superstorm Sandy.
"It just destroyed everything that we had, everything," said Fumosa. He opened the bakery in 1975, a block from the ocean.
"Unfortunately, we never had flood insurance. We never had a drop of water in the shop all those years, and so we were not able to get anything from the insurance company and incredibly, we did not get one dime from the state of New Jersey, not one," Fumosa said.
Without any state or federal disaster funding, Fumosa was forced to sell one of two units in a small strip mall to get money to make repairs to be able to reopen a downsized shop.
Fumosa, a Toms River resident, said the support of the community and long-time customers was amazing.
"They even signed a petition. I remember how many hundreds of names were on there that they wanted to send to the state government to try to get us a grant, to no avail," said Fumosa in reference to a small business loan he also was denied from the Small Business Administration.
Fumosa is thankful for the support his business received and added, "We're open again on weekends, and so many of them are coming back glad to see us there, and we're glad to see them coming back."