Hull Food Center announces last day of operations, community member reacts

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HULL, Iowa (KCAU) – The Hull Food Center is the only grocery store in town. When it closes next week, shopping for groceries in Hull will mean a trip out of town.

LaDonna VanDenTop has been shopping at Hull Food Center for decades.

“I was very saddened by the news. I first heard it by an email because the food store had always given us the opportunity to, they gave back to the community,” said LaDonna VanDenTop, an avid shopper at Hull Food Center.

Greg Rens co-owns Hull Food Center. Like many other businesses, he said the pandemic took a toll.

“We were slowly going down as we went, and then the pandemic just kind of put the nail on the coffin for us. It was going good until the lack of product, then people get upset. All refrigeration repairs, and it’s high dollar stuff and yeah, it’s not easy to fix. The average cooler or the average fixing job was between $1,900 and $3,500,” said Greg Rens.

On September 27, the store will close permanently.

“That wasn’t part of our plan closing the store. We were gearing up and we bought new stuff and a lot of stuff was only used once. We did one cater job and yeah, that was on Thursday night and on Friday the bank shut us off and said ‘no more money’. I burned through about $50,000 in 60 days so it’s like, well, you either cut your losses or keep digging,” said Rens.

For VanDenTop, and other Hull Food Center shoppers, that means a trip out of town for groceries.

“For me personally, it’s going to be, you know, 12 to 15 miles. So yeah, it’s going to be an inconvenience. It really puts a bind for our senior citizens that have always shopped local,” said VanDenTop.

The store plans to sell all of its remaining inventory and equipment, in the coming days, including things like freezers and coolers.

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