Fire, storm leave Iowa community without a grocery store

A famous grocery store in Malvern, IA, has experienced two disasters in just 48 hours - a damaging fire and then devastating winds have destroyed the structure.
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 4:03 PM CST
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MALVERN, Iowa (WOWT) - An Iowa community was scrambling Thursday after its only grocery store was left in pieces, devastated first by a fire earlier this week, then further destroyed by Wednesday’s storm.

The impact of the double-disaster is hitting residents hard.

“It’s terrible. I don’t know any sad,” employee Linda Michael said.

Mulholland’s in Malvern is a Mills County staple, much more than a brick-and-mortar store. For some, it’s a lifeline.

“Tom’s a great great man. I needed a job. I’m older. He gave me a job,” Michael said.

She has worked for the family-owned grocery store for five years. Now, less than two weeks before the holidays, she has zero income.

“I’m out of a job. Christmas won’t be Christmas.”

But Michaels said that’s the least of her concerns.

She had hopes the business could be salvaged after Monday’s fire, but disastrous winds tore apart what was left.

I am sure most of you are aware of the news of what occured yesterday evening at Mulholland Grocery. To the firefighters...

Posted by Mulholland Grocery on Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Now, she and the rest of the community are worried about the owner as he absorbs the blow during the busiest time of year.

“He’s got customers coming in every day for orders,” Michael said.

The bright spot through all of this: The Malvern community doesn’t seem to be sitting by idly. There’s been an outpouring of support, and a fund has already been set up to offer financial relief.

Mulholland's in Malvern, IA, was blown over in Wednesday's storm following damaging structure fires a day before.

The owner shared an update on Facebook saying that while the future is unclear, he is working hard to find ways to continue supporting his employees.

I borrowed this photo that Jess Burdic took, and took the video myself after the northwest corner came down in yesterday...

Posted by Mulholland Grocery on Thursday, December 16, 2021

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