BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) – A woman’s storefront remains closed seven months after the devastating tornadoes. That building space that she leased, is now set to be torn down.
“It’s my life. My business is my life. My kids’ lives,” said Chonetta Bell as she gazed into what once was her place of business. “It’s hard.”
The mother of three says the evening of December 11 they decided to close Late Nite Sweets N Treats early after a customer warned them of a bad storm in the forecast.
“They definitely felt like an angel that night the next morning when I realized that we would have been here otherwise.
Today, the business looks much of the same as it did seven months after that tornado ripped through the Bypass.
“Everything just looks so ravaged, and just torn and buckled in wires everywhere. It was overwhelming,” expressed Bell.
Bell started the business in 2017 and it’s really been a family affair.
“We’ve got a lot of memories in this space, a lot of amazing memories in this space. So I’ll take it with me forever,” said Bell
Bell’s storefront business had just moved into the Bypass location last May, seven months before that devastating night.
“Everything was going great. We were continuing to have momentum continuing to build our base. So this has been a long journey.”
That journey will continue because Bell’s vision for her business goes beyond just clocking in and out daily.
“Late Nite Sweets N Treats is just the start of so many other things that I want to do. And so I think anytime you feel like you’re getting knocked down consistently, it’s hard to keep going, but it’s necessary,” she expressed.
Necessary, because Bell and her fiance aim to imprint a work ethic within their children.
“They’re learning a lot of real-world knowledge that hopefully, they will take into their future. I wear a lot of hats, but I enjoy it,” said Bell.
During the past seven months, Bell has only been able to take custom orders and bring her business mobile to do pop-up shops at festivals, but it’s nothing compared to the business they were doing pre-tornado.
“Making decisions on where to put funds or not put funds. There are constant decisions that we’re having to make in order to still keep our business going the best way that we can and still provide for our family on the other side of that,” said Bell.
Meanwhile, Bell has built the business from the ground up before, and she says despite the hardship, she’ll do it again.
“I drive by all the time, and just kind of look and wonder, you know what our next chapter is going to really be but I know that there’s another chapter. So I’m ready for that,” said Bell through tears. “It’s been a really long, seven months.”
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