Several Beaumont businesses damaged by vandals: ‘It’s heartbreaking’ – Edmonton

Three businesses along a street in Beaumont, Alta., were damaged by vandals overnight.
“We got a call from our landlord at about 6:30 this morning to let us know there had been vandalism to the building,” said Crystal Hemmerling, who is part of the ownership group for the award-winning restaurant Chartier.“Windows had been broken, there was spray paint,” she said.Security footage shows a person wearing a mask and a hood smashing several windows along the street with some kind of stick.“It’s so hard to see,” Hemmerling said. “This is obviously something we put our heart and soul into, and to see somebody just kind of go through — it feels so angry and so unnecessary. Nothing was stolen. They didn’t even go inside.“It’s heartbreaking. Beaumont, in its heart, is still a very small community. To have something like this happen is obviously devastating to us and the other businesses along the street.” Story continues below advertisement

Jef’s Café was also hit. Five out of its 10 windows were smashed, said owner Carolyn Thorpe, who was also alerted by the landlord early Friday morning.“I just came right away and I could see what it looked like. It’s very disheartening.”RCMP confirm the Beaumont detachment received a report of vandalism and windows being smashed at more than one business along 50th Street at around 6 a.m. Friday.

Edmonton-area restaurant struggles amid constantly changing pandemic restrictions

Both Jef’s Café and Chartier have been in business for about eight years.

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“We’ve never had anything like this happen — ever,” Thorpe said.Hemmerling said the same.“Normally, it’s a pretty sleepy little street. Lots of traffic but it’s generally been a very safe place to live and work and operate a business.” Story continues below advertisement

Both local businesses have been blown away by the outpouring of support since news spread of the damage caused. They have both received offers to help clean up.“People came in and they said: ‘Can we help you? Do you need any help? I can go get gloves. I can get other stuff,’” Thorpe said. “Everyone’s been really helpful. … In some ways, it draws the community together.”“A team from Belvan Construction showed up first thing this morning,” Hemmerling said, adding in a social media post that the family-run business showed up without even being called.“We’re focusing on the positive,” Hemmerling said. “The response from the community and the people that are supporting us, that’s what we’re putting our energy into today.”

International attention for Beaumont’s Chartier

The business owners are removing the broken glass and covering the space with plywood until replacement glass windows arrive. Story continues below advertisement

Chartier is closed Friday but plans to reopen on Saturday. Jef’s Café remained open on Friday.Both are awaiting damage estimates from insurance adjusters.“It’s definitely a punch to the bottom line,” Hemmerling said.And, despite the setback, Hemmerling and Thorpe are determined to dwell on the good.“It’s been a roller-coaster the last few years,” Hemmerling said. “This just feels like one more hurdle. At the end of the day, we do this because we love to do it. Hospitality is something we all genuinely enjoy. We want to be able to serve people and take care of people.”“Yes, it’s unfortunate that it’s the outside,” Thorpe added. “But we weren’t physically hurt and the equipment on the inside is — they didn’t do anything to that, so we can be thankful for that.”

Windows of several businesses were smashed in Beaumont, Alta., on Friday, April 19, 2024.

Kabi Moulitharan/Global News

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