‘We had to make it right:’ Family rebuilds after grocery store burns

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WYOMING, Mich. — It's a comeback story for a local business built on family.

After nearly losing their entire grocery store to a fire, owner Javier Olvera welcomed customers into Supermercado Mexico on Tuesday for the first time in seven months.

"What a difference, I tell you," Olvera said, smiling as he showed off the pristinely stocked shelves and brightly painted walls. The building once housed one of the first Hispanic grocery stores in the area, built in the mid-1990s. Olvera said his family purchased the building six years ago.

Located on Chicago Drive, the store caught fire last November.  Olvera said he remembered receiving the call early that morning.

"They told me the grocery store was on fire, I said ‘what really?!’ That’s the phone call you don’t want to hear," he said.

Fire crews respond to Supermercado Mexico, Nov. 2015.

Fire crews respond to Supermercado Mexico, Nov. 2015.

No one was inside at the time. Investigators later determined the fire was caused by an electrical issue.

Olvera estimates the family has spent roughly $750,000 to rebuild and refurbish the store. It had been remodeled five years prior, he said.

After the fire, the family could've relocated elsewhere, but Olvera said they "had to make it right," reopen for their employees and remain part of the community.

The fire destroyed their entire inventory, Olvera said.

The fire destroyed their entire inventory, Olvera said.

“I tell you, it’s more personal, even more hard when it’s your family, when it’s part of the community, you give it your all," he said. "This is a great place to be. We see our employees as a family, and we just wanted to open for them too."

Olvera said his family is planning an official grand reopening celebration for the store some time in June.

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