GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The city of Grand Rapids looks a lot different than it did just 48 hours, as business owners around the city continue to clean up and rebuild their businesses.
“Seeing it still is difficult," said Shasta Face, the owner of Old World Olive Press.
Businesses throughout downtown like Face's Grand Rapids boarded up and are trying to rebuild following the peaceful protest eventually turned violent Saturday evening.
Albert Torres, manager of Cinco de Mayo Mexican Restaurant on Monroe Center, watched from security cameras as windows were smashed and people came inside.
"It was a lot of feeling. I mean this. Is like home. We are here everyday. I am here 6 days a week," Torres said. “When they first broke this window, I came to the restaurant to hide the computers and some of the liquor. Unfortunately I was not able to save all the liquor.”
This was a tough loss for the business, but he saw some encouraging things when he arrived at the scene on Sunday to help clean.
“I saw a lot of people helping, cleaning, people bringing their own vacuums and brooms," Torres said. "We didn’t even call anyone to do this cardboard here.”
A similar situation was happening across town for Face at Old World Olive Press.
“When we opened the door, random strangers came in with brooms and garbage cans and whatever we needed and just went to work," Face said. "Cleaned the glass up and kinda got us situated. I just wish I knew all their names, because they were absolutely amazing angels that came in.”
On their windows and most of the others throughout downtown, notes of encouragement and support were plentiful, spreading the messae of positivity across the city in this time of crisis.
“These are things for the times and these are things we’ll save and say remember when, and we all made it through it and we’re all better people from what we’ve learned," Face said.