Mt. Juliet Breeden’s Orchard loses store in fire just before hoping to reopen from COVID-19

Posted at 10:40 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 23:41:58-04

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — When Breeden’s Orchard in Mt. Juliet was for sale three years ago, Aimee Dorfman and her husband just had to buy it. Dorfman says the land the orchard sits on was going to be used as a new development and she didn’t want to see that happen. Her sister-in- law Wendy Dorfman also joined in on the sale.

The family restored the nearly 40-year-old barn into a store with a rustic feel while still including pieces of Breeden’s past.

But this month has been tough.

“We weren’t due to open until the beginning of June and so we just decided, well let’s see how it goes and it’s been received very well,” said Aimee Dorfman.

They opened early and offered curbside services to help their many local vendors stay afloat during COVID-19 and their customers.

Breeden’s Orchard was able to dodge March’s tornado and make attempts to survive the coronavirus pandemic, but the owners weren’t expecting what happened earlier this week.

Aimee Dorfman was woken up to someone at her door telling her the store was on fire.

“Feels like a good kick in the teeth, is what it feels like,” said Wendy Dorfman, “We’ve just lost a title bit of that history.”

Inside the store were locally made jams, dressing, jewelry and crafts. Most of the inventory was destroyed in the fire. The women said there were a million things running through their minds -- especially the orchard.

“I just wanted to know how the peaches were and that’s kind of why we got in the car, and drove up here because I just needed to know,” said Aimee Dorfman.

The peaches were still there. Dorfman says if there are peaches -- then there is still business.

The owners are thankful for the amount of the support from the community. They say they have plans to rebuild.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.