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Owner of Mulholland Grocery is moving forward after devastating fire in Iowa town

Posted at 7:41 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 20:41:05-05

MALVERN, Iowa. (KMTV) — Looking at the remains of a building nearly 150 years old, Tom Mulholland gets overwhelmed.

"Somebody asked me one day, 'How are you doing?' And I said. 'Honestly, at this moment I'm fine.' If you ask me in 5 minutes, I said, I may not be. The emotions come from everywhere and are just all over the board," Mulholland said.

It was a business run by several generations of his family: his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father for more than a century. He misses it — the smiles in his store, the familiarity of his customers and the camaraderie.

That factored into his decision to rebuild and reopen.

"It means a lot, getting to know these people, work with them over the years, know how you can help people and change their lives a little bit, has meant a lot to me," Mulholland said.

Starting from scratch, he's determined to restore the grocery's longevity.

"My landscape has changed as to what we're looking at from customers and to what we're looking at for products, this will give us the ability to make those changes right now so we can move forward and really focus on the things that have made this business successful," Mulholland said.

Taking a tragedy and making it into something better, that's what he wants.

"The day after the fire I had 300 messages. Yesterday, after the announcement it was just about the same. The post I had put up has been seen 20 times more than what many would be. It's been shared over 100 times. People just seem to be overjoyed with the news," Mulholland said.

While the investigation still has a long way to go. Mulholland is reaching out to a few companies about possible development plans.

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