By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
The Licking Rural Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fully engulfed structure fire at the location of Country Crossroads Custom Cabinetry, East Hwy. 32 at 10:40 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. The Raymondville Volunteer Fire Department provided mutual aid. There were no injuries of any kind, but the shop and contents were considered a total loss. “At this time there is no determination made as to the cause of the fire, due to the building being fully engulfed at the time of our arrival,” said Jimmy Sherrill, LRVFD Fire Chief. “We hate to see any business lost like this.”
Business associates and daughters Ramona Baker and Veronica Stoner, and granddaughter Destiny McHolland shared that at 3 a.m., Friday morning, the family stood collectively at the remains of the family business, already discussing plans to rebuild. The office is located in a separate building, so later that morning they called all their customers and discussed the continuation of the contracted jobs. “If there is a will, there is a way,” said Baker, sharing a favorite saying of her dad, Bob McHolland.
“Customers are the top priority and they come first,” emphasized Baker. “Dad’s biggest concern is the customers, but he also sees the loss of hours and effort that has gone into the business; the memories, family, friendships, a way of life and the financial support for the multiple generations employed at the family business, that have made it the success it is.”
The four-generation, nine-employee business is run with determination, dedication, responsibility, and a customer-comes-first mindset. The 20-year business survived and expanded from a previous fire 18-years ago and they are determined to bounce back quickly, better and stronger, from the Thursday fire.
They have not located a building yet, but cutting will continue at a different location for the time being. The plan is to persevere and keep their commitment to the numerous customers with whom they had contracted jobs.
A pre-loaded trailer was leaving for delivery Monday morning, and customers had come in to discuss a new job, “Are you still doing business?” they asked upon arrival. Also scheduled for Monday was an investigation into the fire.
Customers and contractors are not just calling offering support; they are coming by in person to see what they can do to help. McHolland has always been supportive of his family, community and the people with whom he comes in contact, mostly in quiet but big ways. He is now teaching future generations to overcome adversity with integrity and wisdom, and how to succeed at whatever they choose to do.
The business was insured, but insurance will not cover all of the loss in building, equipment, tools and supplies. A very recent purchase of tools and equipment, to be utilized in a planned expansion, were also lost in the devastating fire.
They plan on hosting a local fundraiser, hoping it can be organized by next month.
For those who desire to help out immediately, there is an account set up at Town & Country Bank; stop by and let them know you would like to contribute.
Country Crossroads Custom Cabinetry may be reached at 573-674-1157 or at Ramona’s cell 573-201-3897.