LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Business is brewing over at a West Little Rock coffee shop nearly four months after it was set on fire.
Heaven McKinney says both of her Grind Coffee Bistro locations were set on fire on the same night in March.
“It was like a tornado went off,” said McKinney.
At the time, McKinney believed she was being targeted.
After investigations wrapped up, police arrested 48-year-old Trent Tyrone Smith in connection with setting the fires.
McKinney says it was weeks before she was allowed back in her West Little Rock location.
“It just wasn’t home, it just didn’t look like my home,” said McKinney.
McKinney says it was an overwhelming moment as she assessed the fire damage and flood damage from the sprinklers.
“There was no life, everything was just sucked out,” said McKinney.
Through the ashes, McKinney says a dream still peaked through.
McKinney says she got a lot of help from people in the community who wanted to see her reopen doors.
“I’m so used to being a giver and to be able to have that moment where you’re vulnerable and you receive so much, it was just so overwhelming,” said McKinney.
This week, McKinney makes the final touches on the space, preparing for the reopening Saturday.
She says a lot of the things inside are new, but part of the past will still remain.
McKinney had a local artist paint a mural on her wall, of a phoenix, rising from the ashes.
“Every morning when I walk and open that door, that’s going to be the first thing we see,” said McKinney. “I mean we came through a storm, we made it.”
McKinney will host a reopening ribbon-cutting ceremony at her West Little Rock location Saturday at 10 a.m.
McKinney says her other location on 21st street was a loss.