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Vandalized store’s owners look ahead

Walla Walla Bread Company shakes off weekend vandalism. (MYCB photo by Dan Thesman)

WALLA WALLA, Washington – Nine months after moving from Redmond, Washington to become the new owners of the Walla Walla Bread Company, Michele and Coral Pompei never thought they would be the victims of vandalism. Early Sunday morning, Coral Pompei was contacted by the Walla Walla Police Department with a report that the dining room at their business on East Main Street had been vandalized.

Imagining the worse, Pompei said she was surprised when she arrived to find the doors and windows intact and that nothing was taken. Dishes and glasses were broken, and tables and chairs had been overturned.

“What’s scary is that there was no forced entry which means: A, somebody that’s already in the building; B, somebody that had a key that we didn’t know about; or C, a current member of staff could have potentially given the code to the lock-box to somebody,” Pompei said. “But we don’t believe that any of our staff members would do that, nor do we believe any of our staff members would let somebody in prior to closing who had the capacity to do it.”

While it who is responsible for the vandalism remains a mystery to Pompei and her husband, Walla Walla Police Chief Scott Bieber said his department is investigating.

“It’s an active investigation, so I can’t tell you a whole lot, but there are some leads we’re pursuing,” Bieber said.

Pompei said since she and her husband moved to Walla Walla and took over the Walla Walla Bread Company, they have been well received which makes this incident difficult to swallow.

“It’s shocking to me that this happened unless it is just a random act,” she said. “If it turns out be somebody that we knew or somebody that we employed or whatever – it would be really sad.”

Pompei added she and her husband, including the staff at the Walla Walla Bread Company, have moved on, picked up and were open for business the next day.

“The community has been unbelievable,” she said. “All the local restaurants came over saying we have extra dishes, we got extra glasses; what do you need?  That is so encouraging for us.”

Pompei said she’s thankful nothing worse happened and that nobody was hurt. She’s also proud of the restaurant’s employees.

“We’re thankful that we have staff that’s so amazing we were able to clean it all up, reset and open on Sunday,” she said.

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