A Bronx bodega is on the path to reopening, a month after it burned to the ground in a devastating fire.
The United Bodegas of America presented Odalis Rodriguez with a $35,000 check to rebuild the El Tropical Bodega & Deli in Pelham Bay on Sunday.
When the neighborhood stable on E. Tremont Ave was destroyed in a Nov. 2. fire, Rodriguez’s life savings and livelihood went up in smoke along with it.
Now the married father of two is hopeful for the future, thanks to an early Christmas present from his community.
“This is amazing my gratitude to my brothers and sisters behind the counters. My family is humbled by the generosity of so many that donated to my cause,” Rodriguez said. “It took me years of hard work to establish my business and in a few minutes I lost it all.”
UBA spokesman Fernando Mateo said his organization went door to door to bodegas across the city collecting small donations ranging from $25 to $200.
“What this means is a community will get a bodega back, and a family will start putting their lives back together again,” Mateo told the Post. “Bodegas are more united than ever in this city. We will help any bodega that is in stress due to fire, theft or closure. We are here to ensure that every small business survives.”
Mateo added that the UBA “won’t stop collecting until Rodriguez is able to reopen, then we will celebrate.”
By Sunday morning, a GoFundMe page to help reopen the El Tropical Bodega & Deli had raised $1,895.