When Olaf Malcom arrived in 1918, he couldn’t have imagined the impact his family would have.
Olaf Malcom was a second-generation butcher from Norway. He homesteaded just outside Eatonville (where Rich Collins lives today) and built a slaughterhouse. The young entrepreneur opened up meat markets in Eatonville (currently the vacant building across from Tall Timber), Kapowsin, Mineral and Morton.
His entrepreneurial spirit was passed along to his children. His oldest son, Barney built a store and restaurant in 1946 on Meridian outside Eatonville. The building is no longer there, but you probably know it as “Barney’s Corner”.
Keith Malcolm, the next oldest son, started out as meat cutter like his dad. “I was raised around it. It’s what I knew.”
In 1946, after three and a half years in the Navy, Keith opened his own meat market in the Red and White store (today the parking lot next to Kirk’s Pharmacy). The Red and White was originally been T.C. Van Eaton’s store, with wood floors that had been cleaned with oil and sawdust.
Getting into Grocery
“My dad told me to just stick with meat cutting. Don’t get into grocery,” says Keith with a smile. He followed his father’s advice and just ran the meat cutting side alongside Jess Dawkins who ran the grocery in the Red and White. But a couple years later Keith bought Jess out.
In 1963, after 17 years in the Red and White, Keith and his wife Delores, made the jump and built the Shop Rite store (now the medical billing center). From 1963 to 1979 he managed the store, employed local folks, and had some interesting promotions, like “Guess the Pig’s Weight”.
“Rich Collins supplied the pig and fed it for me,” says Keith “And we had a pen in the store and for about 30 days we had people guessing its weight.”
There was no stopping the Malcolm family when it came to starting businesses. “We built Malcom’s Deli Drive-in in the 1970s, [now Brunos] but we never developed the Drive-in,” says Delores with a laugh. She ran the deli for several years and says that was probably the hardest work she’s known — and she would know coming from a large logging family.
In the 70s they also built the Shell station (down near Arrow Lumber). In 1987 they built the Milltown Mall, then the Milltown Motel in 1992-93, which they ran for 6 or 7 years. Did I mention they also built the storage units, the mobile home park, and the office space across from Arrow?
“There was a need and we built it,” says Keith.
And to think it started with one meat cutter.