Little Gourmand owner commits to filling Mother's Day orders even after storm damages house

Posted at 8:00 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 09:00:29-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A violent storm on Sunday night brought down roughly 80 trees in Davidson County. One of those trees fell on Guenievre Milliner's house.

"The tree that actually fell on part of the house was like one meter from my husband," Milliner said.

She owns Little Gourmand market and pantry in Green Hills and was looking forward to filling orders for Mother's Day.

COVID-19 has delayed the start of opening her second location in Melrose and complicated her business model.

"Any single transaction, people call, place their order on the phone, give me the credit card, give me the details of when they will pickup or how we can deliver. When you're a small business with a limited amount of staff and just having your phone to handle everything... it has been challenging," she said.

Milliner was at home working on the week's menu when Sunday's storms rolled in.

"I was seated at my living room table and actually I had just placed an order to a supplier. The electricity shutdown, I mean that happens all the time, you don't get worried when that happens, but I knew there was a tornado warning. I just remember looking to the left at the window saying 'I've never seen such a wind'," she said.

Milliner grew up in Brittany, France. She is familiar with severe storms, but said Sunday's weather was unlike anything she had experienced in her lifetime.

"We have big storms there by the sea and I know wind, but it felt weird," she said.

Trees crushed some of Milliner's home, blocking her front door and making it impossible to get to some of the bedrooms.

Fortunately Milliner, her husband and her daughter were not hurt.

"I think the hardest thing since Sunday is re-seeing the scene non-stop. You have to put your brain focused on something else," she said.

Working in the Little Gourmand kitchen has given her something to do this week. She busied herself with her Mother's Day orders for things like pastries, fruit tarts and croissants.

"It's not going to be the Mother's Day we dreamed up, that's going to be next year when 2020 is done, but at least we will do whatever has been ordered and people need from us on Saturday and Sunday," she said.

The second half of the year may be as difficult for Milliner as the first half, yet she is determined to make the most of it.

"You have two choices: you stay on your couch and cry and you let your life go down and you show your daughter, and it's not going to be healthy for anyone or you put yourself together and find the strength to go back to work, and that's what I want to show her," she said.