MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) — The owners of the Milk Pail Market, an iconic Mountain View grocery store, are calling it quits. The open-air market on the corner of California St. and San Antonio Rd. plans to close in June, shortly after celebrating its 45th anniversary earlier this year.

The market is well-known for its broad selection of cheeses as well as other artisanal products. Fresh fruits and vegetables and specialty products from Europe fill the store’s narrow, often crowded aisles.

“It’s just a community type store, I think losing it will hurt the community,” said Sybil Ryan, who just started shopping at the Milk Pail.

“I love this place,” said long time customer Germaine Decker, an immigrant from Switzerland who has been shopping at the market for decades. “You know you could always find good cheese. And of course, chocolate. I buy it by ten pounds.”

“Ever since I was probably born, I’ve been coming here,” said Kai Rasmussen, who grew up in the store. The market was opened in 1974 by her father Steve, who’s now semi-retired. Rasmussen is proud that it’s held up as a David against the Goliaths of the grocery business.

“There’s a Sprouts, a Whole Foods, a Trader Joes, a Safeway. Did I say Whole Foods already? There’s just so many stores around us,” Rasmussen said.

The family business has been holding out against developers who want to turn the property into an office building. Rasmussen says her father is getting up in age now and would like to retire.
She said she would like to finish her studies at Cal, which she had put on hold to manage the business.

“There is one aspect of relief, not having to run a business day to day, my father being able to finally fully retire. But the main thing that’s going to be hard is leaving the customers behind,” she said.

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