MANISTEE COUNTY- After building for more than a year, the doors of the Dublin General Store, a long time staple in the community, reopened to an anxious crowd.
The highly anticipated Dublin General Store celebrated its grand reopening Wednesday, one year after it was reduced to ashes.
It was August 31, 2019 when a fire believed to be intentionally set destroyed the business.
"It hits you in the heart, I woke up at 3 a.m. to see pictures, you know, of the burning building," said Angie Masunas a customer from downstate. "It was my childhood store."
The Dublin General has been a family-owned business for three generations.
"Been coming here for 60 something years, and it's part of us," said customer Sue Koslek.
The Fischer family started planning to rebuild days after the fire.
"We're very excited, it's been a long year," said Dublin General Store Owner Greg Fischer. "We put a lot of work in it and the day is finally here, we're not only excited for ourselves but for the whole community."
Dozens of people lined up before doors opened, even sporting Dublin General apparel.
"I actually took the day off, drove up last night, slept in the woods in my van just so I could be here for opening day," said Masunas. "This is very special to the community, and when the real opening day comes around during hunting season this place is going to be packed."
The new 43,000 square ft. store will be open seven days a week starting at 9 a.m.
"We're ready, we're fully stocked and ready to go," said Greg Fischer. "It's a lot of work, but we have homemade products that people come here for," said Bonnie Fischer. "It's amazing, the support we are getting."
Offering bigger aisles, and more room for what they're best know for.
"It's my go-to place, C'mon I mean the jerky, it doesn't get any better than the jerky," said Masunas.
"I've got some original ostrich, I've got some maple turkey, some garlic and onion, and some cajun beef," said Customer Brady.
The Fischer's said they were able to bring back almost all of their employees and were lucky to have had payroll insurance.
While workers were glad to be back, they are also feeling some relief for the community of Wellston.
"It's amazing, this will help out the community a lot now," said Employee Clista Hayes. "We have a pharmacy coming soon, and most of us were driving an hour out of our way without Dublin... Dublin is a gift to the community," said Hayes.
The Fischer's even receiving a special gift.
A plaque with a 1935 peace dollar on it.
"That represents the year that Dublin opened, and it's the last year they made the peace dollar," said Deno Moore a coin collector and customer. "This is the 2020 Silver Eagle which they've been making since 1986."
Now customers say they have one request.
"It better stay here, just don't be burning it down anymore," said one customer.
As for who started the fire last year? No arrests have been made.
The store is now equipped with security cameras.