EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — It’s been a month and a half since the devastating train derailment in East Palestine, and after years of work, a small business opened its doors less than a quarter mile from the derailment site.
Ashlee and Mike McKim officially opened their Taggart Street location Friday night after years of working out of their home. On Saturday, McKim’s Honeyvine & Winery held a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We’ve been at this for about seven years now, we started out of our home making small batches,” Ashlee McKim said.
The McKims spent about two years working and remodeling the Taggart Street business. They say the derailment hasn’t delayed their work, and they’re glad to be open.
“The community has been absolutely phenomenal,” Mike McKim said. “We’ve been through a lot in the last month and a half, but we’re coming together.”
The McKims have heard concerns from people in the area, but say they’re using bottled water for all their products and have been doing independent water testing, which has been promising.
“In the interim, we’ve used only bottled water to make our products and clean our bottles and everything else, so we were really super, super cautious about it,” Mike McKim said.
“Our fall wines and our Christmas wines — this is when we start making those, so we’re going to kind of put some feelers out there and see if everybody’s comfortable with us going ahead and starting to produce again,” said Ashlee McKim.
Running this business with three small kids hasn’t been easy, but they’re grateful for the community’s support.
“Only we can take care of us, so we have to move forward,” Mike McKim said. “We have to be positive.”