Whiteclay's Arrowhead Foods Total Loss
A Lakota-owned-grocery store located in Whiteclay, Nebraska has been totally destroyed by fire. Arrowhead Foods was financed with the assistance of Lakota Funds…a community development organization based in Kyle, South Dakota.
Sheridan County sheriff Terry Robbins says he first received a report of the Arrowhead Foods fire at a little after 9 a.m. on Monday morning.
“Well...me and the deputy went to Whiteclay," recalls Robbins. "We paged out the Rushville Fire Department. Contacted tribal fire department…and two state fire marshals come ot Whiteclay to investigate the fire.”
Robbins says the fire departments left the scene about 4 p.m. but he remained until 10 to ensure the fire was completely contained.
As for what remained of Arrowhead Foods…
Lakota couple Martin and Rhinannon Pilcher fulfilled a lifelong dream when they opened Arrowhead Foods in Whiteclay, Neb.
Credit Photo by Jim Kent
“It’s down pretty much to the ground…totally destroyed," Robbins comments.
Tony Taylor is the loan officer at Lakota Funds. Taylor spoke to Martin Pilcher, co-owner of Arrowhead Foods, the day of the fire.
“At the present he’s considering rebuilding the store...at the site or on some land he owns nearby," explains Taylor. "He’s mainly concerned about some of the employees…about what their future is…because…of course…it’s going to take a while if he does rebuild.”
An adjustor from Pilcher’s insurance company is scheduled to meet with the small businessman today.
Since Lakota Funds does have a financial interest in the store and Pilcher’s success, Tony Taylor says the institution is standing by to learn the insurance adjustor’s determination. If there’s enough money to pay off the current debt and rebuild the store as Pilcher wants it, Taylor says there may be a silver lining in the tragedy
He adds that Martin Pilcher is upbeat, but is the type of guy who’s always more concerned about others than himself…in this case his workers and the community.
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