UNITY — In preparation for a snowstorm expected Saturday, Stephen Smith, son-in-law of Community Market owner Caleb Stoll, was putting hay on the ground Jan. 28, next to where the popular store once stood, to insulate and help prevent the frost from taking hold even deeper.

The snow will also help insulate the ground, he said, but a layer of hay is needed in anticipation of cement work.

It was just over a week since a quick-moving fire destroyed the store, and already the area had been cleared of debris; trusses were expected to arrive that day. A new building will be raised on the existing cement slab, he said, and will be similar in size.

Planned changes to the design include expanding the front porch by 2 feet, and the addition of a new back porch. The enclosed shell of the store is expected to be raised by March 1, with inside work to follow. The inside, Smith said, will change “quite a bit” for better performance.

The fire has given the family an opportunity to design things better, with one update being placing the boiler outside. “We want to do everything in our power to avoid a future fire,” he said.

“People have been overwhelmingly helpful,” he said, with many people donating their services. Smith said it has been humbling, and, overall, a good experience with the “love and support we have felt from the community.”

He is thankful no one was injured in the blaze. “In that respect, we’re glad it’s just the store.”

“I don’t think we can become embittered by this,” he said. Instead, he sees it as an opportunity to make things better.

Unity Select Board member Penny Sampson said the town’s Economic Development Committee is “tossing around ideas” on what can be done to help the market rebuild, possibly using tax increment financing funds. A building permit has been submitted already, she said, and a special Planning Board meeting will be held instead of waiting until the end of the month.

Stoll said that over the years, the family has developed ideas about how to make things better and now will implement them. There has been an outpouring of support, with donations and good wishes coming from as far away as New Jersey and California.

One $10 donation in particular, he said, meant a lot. “Here is someone that cared enough and took the time to think of us.” Some donations do not have names attached to them, he said. Stoll wished to thank everyone who has contributed to the rebuilding effort.

“We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support from people,” Stoll said. “And we’re looking forward to rebuilding.”

An account has been set up at the Unity office of Down East Credit Union for people wishing to help with the rebuilding. Donations can be sent to the Community Market Savings Account, P.O. BOX 760, Unity, ME 04988 or Community Market, c/o Bishop Caleb Stoll, 368 Thorndike Road, Unity, ME 04988.