The Mulholland Grocery store in the southwest Iowa town of Malvern first opened in 1889 and is now being run by a member of the family’s fourth generation.
Tom Mulholland notes the store has weathered a wide variety of changes over a dozen decades, including The Great Depression and nearly 30 recessions. "My great-grandfather started this as a dry goods store," Mulholland says. "Back in the 1920s, my grandfather put a small cash-and-carry grocery business in one corner of it and that took over. This used to be a department store and had a lot of different things in it — a chiropractor’s office, they sold shoes and pianos and dresses, all sorts of things."
Mulholland moved back to Malvern and bought the grocery store about ten months ago, after running an independent grocery store in Omaha the past 20 years. He says it’s proven to be an excellent move, in spite of the foul national economy. Mulholland says they’ll be at $1 million in sales for the year and they intend to keep expanding and recently had their 50,000 customer since opening their doors. He says they’ve been drawing in shoppers from 90 miles away, from all over southwest Iowa, southeast Nebraska and northern Missouri.
He attributes some of the success to the customer service they offer. He says they’ve brought in a variety of new products, including fresh smoked sausage and other gourmet products that haven’t been offered there before. With 100 days still to go in the fiscal year, Mulholland claims sales have already surpassed the prior owner’s previous year’s sales.