Hull Food Center set to close doors

The Hull Food Center, located along Highway 18 at 1023 Black Forest Road, is set to close Monday, Sept. 27. Owner Jessica Rens said the grocery store has struggled keeping up with costly repairs along with impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

HULL—Jessica Rens said the decision to close Hull Food Center has been a devastating one.

She and her husband, Greg, own the grocery store at 1023 Black Forest Road, which announced on its Facebook page earlier this month its last day of operation will be Monday, Sept. 27.

It is the only grocery store in the community of about 2,400.

“We loved it here,” Jessica said.

She said the reason the store is closing is because of constant repairs that were getting too costly.

For example, she said the store’s compressor was going out frequently and that a new unit would cost about $10,000.

“COVID had a big impact on us too. We couldn’t get a lot of product in and people got frustrated and went to other grocery stores, bigger ones,” Jessica said.

The store plans to sell all of its remaining inventory in the days leading up to its final day of business. It also will be selling its equipment, such as freezers and coolers.

It will no longer be doing charge accounts for customers, except for patrons who still have credit on their existing accounts.

Jessica did not know how long the store has operated in the Sioux County community but said the owner of the building, Dan Koolstra, has had the property about 19 years. Before that, the building was a house.

The business employs five daytime workers and five-to-six night shift employees.

The store’s hours shortened this week to 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and Jessica said next week they will be cut back further.