Rob and Allison Holcomb’s dream of operating Grenada’s lone donut shop did not go up in smoke last Monday night when a fire forced the popular shop to shutter its doors.
Instead, the couple has vowed to rise from the ashes and reopen as quickly as possible.
“We want everybody to know that we’ll be back, we’ll be back strong,” Rob said Sunday morning following the nightmarish week.
The Grenada couple was fast asleep resting for another early morning preparing the next day’s batches of donuts when the Jan. 10 fire broke out. An officer with the Grenada Police Department was sent to their home to wake them and give notification of the blaze.
“I definitely thought it was a dream; the worse possible dream ever,” Rob recalled.
Located at 1268 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the previously empty donut shop building reopened on Nov. 17, 2021, as Nancy’s Donuts. The fire broke out a week shy of the popular shop’s two-month anniversary.
“We can’t express our gratitude to this town for the turnout and for its appreciation for the donut shop,” Rob said. “Everybody has been so kind through this ordeal; it’s just incredible. We’re going to do our best to be up and running as quickly as we can to get the community back the donuts that they love so much. The town’s love for the food is incredible.”
No exact timetable has been set for the shop’s reopening, but the couple is hopeful they can be back up and running in 90 days.
“We’re very hopeful that we can be reopened in about three months,” Allison added.
The early success of the donut shop is one of many things that keeps the Holcombs optimistic about the future.
“We never pictured demand like it was,” Rob said. “We didn’t really have any idea of what it would be like when we were drawing up our dreams on paper before we opened, but once we opened those doors, it was incredible.”
The Holcombs are confident that the shop’s timeline for return would be much longer had it not been for the quick actions of the Grenada Fire Department.
“We really and truly appreciate the Grenada Fire Department for its quick response and containing this fire because it could have been so much worse,” Allison said.
According to officials with the GFD, dispatchers received a report of heavy smoke coming from the donut shop at 7:43 p.m. Two minutes later, firefighters were on the scene assisted by officers with the Grenada Police Department.
“Everybody came together and saved it,” Rob said.
The GFD fire report states that the fire is believed to have started in the kitchen, however, according to the Holcombs, it, along with the shop’s donut equipment suffered only minimal damage.
“The smoke damage is pretty bad, but the water damage is not really as bad as you would think,” Rob explained. “The fire department got there really quick, did an outstanding job of keeping it confined to a small area in the back and they did not engulf the whole restaurant in water. They did a really good job of minimizing the damage. The smoke is everywhere, you can’t get away from that.”
The couple said that the shop’s dry storage area in the back of the shop received the bulk of the fire damage.
“It could have been a lot worse; it could have been so much worse,” Allison said.
The day following the fire, the Holcombs said that they quickly began steps towards reopening.
“The first couple of days, we were working on insurance, talking to everybody and doing inventory itemizations,” Rob said. “Yesterday (Saturday), we got really into the grit and got our dumpster filled up and received some generous offers of dumpster help from other folks around town. The town has been really great with offering and coming through with help.”
However, despite a productive week, there is a lot more work to be completed.
“We’ve already started getting in and clearing out the initial damage, but it’s going to be a process over the next several months getting everything cleaned out and restructured,” Rob said. “We’ve got to make sure all of our donut equipment is working correctly. We still have a long way to go.”
The Holcombs are also anticipating the arrival of contractors this week to aid in the cleanup and rebuilding processes.
“We’ve got contractors coming later in the week that are going to stick around and do the whole job,” Rob said. “We got a pretty good commitment out of them. That’s positive versus waiting around and twiddling our thumbs on contractors.”
As for the coming weeks, the couple will continue working hard cleaning and repairing damage in an effort to reopen the donut shop’s doors as quickly as possible.
“It’s a terrible situation, but it’s getting better and we’re headed in the right direction,” Rob concluded. “We appreciate everybody’s patience during the wait.”