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York business enjoys a flood of Girl Scout cookies

When Peter Gainey and his partner opened their new flood mitigation business in downtown York, they didn’t realize it would involve a flood of Girl Scout cookies.

On Wednesday, leaders of 72 York County Girl Scout troops lined up with their minivans and SUVs at his Liberty Street warehouse, ready to pick up their cookies.

And 4,400 cases of Girl Scout cookies – more than 52,000 boxes – arrived at his door.

Thin Mints. Do-si-dos. Samoas. Tagalongs. And all the other favorites, delivered by the girls in green each February to raise money for their troops.

Gainey said he and his partner, Dennis Barr, didn’t plan it that way, but they were happy to help the Girl Scouts.

Their new business, Preferred Emergency Services, opened Jan. 5 in leased space at 108 N. Congress St., in the Whitesides Cleaners building.

Gainey said someone who was working with the Girl Scouts overhead Barr talking about the new business they had opened and its 11,000 square feet of warehouse space.

Steve Antonio, cookie manager for the York service unit 2, which covers Clover, Lake Wylie and Fort Mill, said the unit usually distributes its cookies from a Fort Mill site.

But Antonio said the organization lost that site and needed a new one.

“The Girl Scouts is a good organization,” said Gainey. He said the distribution was a bit of organized chaos, but it only lasted for a day.

Scout leaders showed up every five minutes all day to load up their cookies.

Angela Young, who lives in Lake Wylie, said her troop of 14 second-graders sold a whopping 1,200 boxes of cookies.

The girls were motivated in part by a plan for the troop to donate part of its cookie proceeds to Habitat for Humanity, she said.

Gainey, who has 18 years of experience in home mitigation, said his business works with insurance companies and homeowners who have suffered flood or water damage.

“We felt like mitigation companies were forgetting about the compassion of the claim,” said Gainey, who said he wants to do a better job of communicating with homeowners.

Gainey said the business has enough warehouse space so it can expand its services into areas like fire damage mitigation. The warehouse space could be used to store household contents as they are sorted and evaluated, he said.

“We want to spend some time working with mainly water mitigation, for now at least,” Gainey said. “We plan to be prepared to do fire mitigation in the future.”

He said the business, which has six staff members, including himself and Barr, plans to grow carefully. “We are blessed to have great support from the community,” he said.