Plans are underway to rebuild the Grassy Plains Store, which burned down on Nov. 7 after a deep fryer in its restaurant malfunctioned.
The destruction of the store was a shock to Grassy Plains and Southside residents.
The community lost a local hub, whose owners were well-known for their generosity, especially for the way they took care of evacuees and firefighters during last summer’s wildfires.
Store owners Gary and Faith Martin lost not just their store, but their jobs.
But that was then.
“We’re adjusting. We’re trying to accept it and move on,” Gary told Lakes District News on Nov. 21.
The family has been speaking with local contractors about the regulations and costs involved in having the store and restaurant rebuilt in the same location as before.
“We would really like to get the restaurant going as quick as possible, and get it working in the winter. But it depends on contractors’ schedules,” Gary explained.
The GoFundMe campaign that Xandria Ahlbrand launched on the day the store was lost has so far raised $5,481 of the $100,000 goal.
“I just think it’s amazing how people are reaching out and showing love,” Gary said about the funding drive.
The insurance the Martins had on the store might help recoup the losses, which are large.
In Gary’s estimation the total losses could be at least $300,000, and include the building and apartment above it – where Kimberley Saffel lived with her two children – the store inventory, and the restaurant equipment and furniture.
“We haven’t decided if were going to take the insurance or let [Danskin Mennonite] Church help us,” he said.
In the meantime, the Martins have their eyes on the possibility of rebuilding.
“The sense we got is it would help the community. We’re going to do what we can to get it back and functional.”
The Grassy Plains Store had been in operation for at least 50 years.