DARLINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN) – The East Palestine train derailment has had a major impact around the area. One place that has been dealing with it is across the state line.
The Butcher & The Baker will celebrate its ninth anniversary next week. It’s located in Darlington.
JC Summers says the last three weeks have been pretty tough.
“Obviously, with what happened, it’s affected business. It’s affected the unknown. People don’t know,” he said.
Summers’ business has over 50 types of meat; a signboard in the store lists them all. The store model is fresh meats, dairy and bakery items. Now, Summers is careful as he thinks about the future.
“You know, you don’t know what to buy. If it’s gonna sell or not,” he said.
Summers is buying meat from out of the area. It’s safe, but he slaughters meat on the side and returns it to people. That part of the business has slowed.
“They don’t know whether it’s safe to eat or not. And that’s been the calls I’m getting. Is it safe? I’m not a scientist, here. I just cut meat, so I don’t know that either,” Summers said.
The Butcher & The Baker is seven miles from the derailment site. Summers was there during the controlled release of vinyl chloride and said he felt things falling from the sky and touching his skin.
This has been another test of the business. COVID helped at first. People wanted fresh meat since they were staying home. Now, Summers is like everyone else and just waits to learn about the air, water and soil.
“I just don’t know who’s telling us if it’s right or not right. I don’t think we’re gonna know for a couple of years,” he said.
Summers says he’s constantly getting calls, asking if The Butcher & The Baker are open. It is, except on Sundays and Mondays. And the nearby roads which had been closed, are open again, making it easy to get there.