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Panama City, Fla. — October 12, 2020 After nearly two years, much of the world has already forgotten about Hurricane Michael. For the Panama City community, however, it has been impossible to forget. On October 10, 2018, Michael made its way onshore and dealt a devastating blow to those living and working in the once-thriving area. Local business owner, Sonja Rhinehardt was among those who lost so much when Michael struck the Florida Panhandle. Rhinehardt who has proudly owned two Badcock Home Furniture &more stores for over 20 years, was devastated to find that the damage to her two Panama Stores was so substantial that both buildings were destroyed and the Callaway location had to be completely torn to the ground. Rhinehardt knew she would have to rebuild and while she was able to serve her community with temporary locations, that it would take time for her stores to be able to fully come back to Panama City. Rhinehardt is now celebrating the reopening of the Callaway store.
Since Rhinehardt lost two stores to the storm, the Lynn Haven store’s reconstruction came first with plans to rebuild Callaway once Lynn Haven was up and running. Rhinehardt recalls, “The contractor built the Lynn Haven store first which took about six months and then started on Callaway which took another six months. For Callaway, we rebuilt in the same location but the whole building is brand new because we were only able to save the slab.” The community showed up in force to celebrate the opening of Lynn Haven back in March with an official reopening in a pre-COVID world. As of September 8, the doors of Callaway are officially welcoming back members of the area and guests will find the same customer-centric service as before with a revamped layout and some new product offerings. Rhinehardt is thrilled to be able to take care of the needs of her community once again. She says, “I am so excited to open! It has been almost two years since hurricane Micheal destroyed both of my beloved stores. I opened the Callaway store brand new in 2001 and I have served those customers on that side of town for almost 20 years now and it was hit really bad so I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my customers.”
The Badcock Home Furniture &more brand is overjoyed for Sonja to have both of her stores back in operation and has been behind her every step of the way. CEO and President Rob Burnette says, “It’s dealers like Sonja that are the lifeblood of our company. When our dealers are hurting, we feel their pain and are willing to do everything we can to support them through hardships and get them back on their feet. We are thankful to see such a dedicated and passionate owner like Sonja restored and fully equipped to serve her customers’ needs again.”