Community rallies for Calahoo Store damaged in late-night attack

Above and right: A truck was set ablaze on the morning of Sept. 6 outside the Calahoo Store after driving through the store’s front. Damage to the store was extensive, and a fundraiser is now underway for the owners and employees. Below: Damaged to the building. – submitted photos

by Stephen Dafoe

In a shocking incident that unfolded in the early hours of Sept. 6, the Calahoo Store was damaged after two unidentified individuals plowed a stolen truck through the front wall of the business. After taking items from the store, the stolen vehicle was set ablaze, causing extensive structural damage that has left the store temporarily closed until at least the end of September.

Calahoo Store owners Steve and Jaimie Kadatz learned about the business damage from a neighbour before receiving a call from the alarm company. Morinville RCMP responded to the call from the alarm company, and Sturgeon County’s Calahoo Fire Department extinguished the burning truck.

Steve Kadatz said the cleanup crew on site told him damage is estimated at $70,000 to $100,000, and he is hoping to be open by the end of September.

“It all depends on what the contractors have to do to make sure the structure is good,” Kadatz said. “We don’t know if they’re going to have to replace the floor or some of the floor, but there is a 20 by 12 hole in the front of the store that has to be replaced. I’m hoping the last week of September might be close to being somewhere close to open.”

A post on the Callahoo Strong Facebook page called the crime malicious and stated the impact on the small hamlet cannot be overstated.

“Not only has the Calahoo Store been an integral part of our Community for decades, but Steve and Jamie are family to us all. Their continued support and love for our Community is evident at every parade, wedding, and fundraiser that our Community hosts,” the post reads. “They are there for our late-night snack runs or when we forget to grab milk on the way home from work. They are there for our morning coffees and our neighbourhood chats. They are a sign of independence for our elders who might not be able to make the drive into town anymore for groceries. Mostly, Steve and Jamie always have a smile, a warm welcome and a bench seat for anyone who needs some company.”

The page has set up a fundraiser for the owners and employees while things get settled and the store receives repairs before reopening. Etransfer donations can be sent to

In addition to Steve and Jaimie Kadatz, the store has five employees.

Kadatz said their concern is for the employees who are out of work due to no fault of their own.

“I worry about my employees. I want to be sure that they get paid something,” Kadatz said. “It’s not their fault that they can’t come to work.”

Kadatz said he does not want anyone to donate to the cause if they do not feel comfortable doing so.

“This is just going towards helping the employees and helping us hopefully get up and running again,” he said. “We don’t know a timeline, and that sucks. It’s the first time in my business career that I’ve been shut down for more than 24 hours.”

Those wishing to donate to assist can send an Etransfer to or contact the Calahoo Strong Facebook page administrators.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.