It’s certainly the beginning of a new day for the Dunsmuir Supermarket and owner Keith Cool, who said the pests have been completely eradicated. The completely overhauled Dunsmuir Supermarket is like a fresh, brand new store.

The Dunsmuir Supermarket reopens today, after a two-month-long closure. There will be a Grand Opening event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the reopening.

In the Chinese zodiac, 2020 is The Year of the Rat. Ironically, January 2020 was the month when the Dunsmuir Supermarket voluntarily closed its doors to eradicate that not-so-auspicious animal from its premises. Paradoxically, according to ChineseNewYear.net, the Rat not only represents “the beginning of a new day,” but is “able to turn unlucky events into fortune.”

It’s certainly the beginning of a new day for the Dunsmuir Supermarket and owner Keith Cool, who said the pests have been completely eradicated. The completely overhauled Dunsmuir Supermarket is like a fresh, brand new store.

Cool, who grew up in Dunsmuir, said candidly that the store has always paid for monthly pest control service by a professional extermination company. Even though they were paying for regular monthly service, unbeknownst to them, the service they had been paying for had not been provided for three months.

Just because 2020 is The Year of the Rat doesn’t mean that rats are a new problem in Dunsmuir. and the Dunsmuir Supermarket incident is not an isolated one. Cool said owners of several other businesses in town have privately approached him to ask “what worked” in terms of dealing with the persistent problem in a town situated alongside a river in a canyon.

Cool said he’s been actively fighting the rodent problem since last September and as soon as he became aware of the extent of the problem, he voluntarily closed the supermarket’s doors to tackle the issue head-on.

Consequently, he did a major overhaul and discarded everything.

The entire ceiling was gutted up to the roof. The supermarket has a new meat counter, new meat case, new ovens, and a new rotisserie, as well as a new and expanded cooked food program.

Everything was thoroughly cleaned, deep cleaned, and cleaned again, going “above and beyond in following all recommended procedures to completely eradicate the pest problem.

“Our (new) pest control guy – from a nationwide company – said they’ve never seen anyone go to the lengths we went to, in order to deal with the problem,” Cool said.

Part of the “above and beyond” measures taken included working with neighbors to remove overgrown ivy on adjacent properties. He said he’s gone to great lengths to ensure the store meets and exceeds all health and safety standards.

“We got full approval from the health department. They were very impressed with everything we’ve done,” Cool said.

The process of overhauling the Dunsmuir Supermarket was not inexpensive. Cool said it cost him well over $100,000.

“No insurance covered any of the expenses,” said Cool. “I took that out of my savings.”

As a result of all the intensive labor and expense, Cool said the Dunsmuir Supermarket will be like a brand new store. “It’s going to be real clean and bright,” he said.

During Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Cool dispelled a rumor that leftover produce from the Mount Shasta Market was sold in Dunsmuir.

Cool admitted that the whole ordeal of trying to get a handle on the problem – compounded by the negative backlash from a few vocal critics in the community – was so devastating that he was going to just close the store permanently.

“It’s not been a fun journey,” he said. However, Cool credited the “good people of Dunsmuir” who showed their support, expressed their loyalty, and encouraged him to not give up for being the reason why he worked to reopen the supermarket.

Cool, who worked at the Dunsmuir grocery store when he was 16, years before he bought it, spoke of his affection for the town of Dunsmuir. He expressed his desire to provide a positive grocery shopping experience for Dunsmuir residents.

“We’re very committed to it being a very good store,” Cool said. “We’re going to give them a store they can be proud of ... We have a brand new produce company. They’re amazing – top quality – and their pricing is really good.”

He said they’ll continue to carry the award-winning, locally-made, Salt and Savor sauerkraut, as well as other locally-made products.

The Dunsmuir Supermarket is officially reopened as of today, and will be open seven days a week— from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The two managers of the Dunsmuir store are Dean Autry and Clayton Cool.

There will be a Grand Opening event this Saturday March 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will be serving free soda, hotdogs, and ice cream sandwiches and holding hourly drawings for door prizes of grocery certificates, with a raffle for a couple of Sacramento Kings Basketball tickets.

“You usually only get one opportunity to make a first impression,” said Cool. “But now we have an opportunity to make a new first impression and we are excited!”