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After 45 years, Milk Pail Market closing in Mountain View

Mountain View’s folksy, European-style Milk Pail Marke t, which has stood the test of time in Silicon Valley, will shut down after 45 years in business.
Closing day will come within a few months.
Owners Steve Rasmussen and family posted a letter to longtime customers headlined, “The End of an Era,” in which they tick off the reasons for selling the property at the corner of California Stret and San Antonio Road. Chief among them are the long, grueling hours and a loss in business because of nearby construction.
“This has been an incredibly difficult and emotional decision for me,” Rasmussen wrote on Facebook. “I understand that this news will be very disappointing for many.”
Indeed, community reaction to the news was fast and fierce, with more than 250 customers posting comments by midday Wednesday.
“So, so sorry to hear this!!!.” customer Tien Chiu said. “One of my favorite shops. I’ve been a loyal customer for over 20 years and will miss you terribly.”
“You will forever be a part of Mountain View History!” the Mountain View Historical Association posted.
Even relative newcomers were devastated.
“Respect! For most of the French people living around, Milk Pail Market is a reference for French cheese and various French products.” customer Cyrille Daujean wrote. “We arrived 6 years ago in the Bay Area, and you became instantly a mandatory stop for shopping. This is big loss for the community and another bad sign — IMHO — of what going on in the Bay Area with small businesses.”
What’s now a European-style open-air market began its life in 1974 as a “drive-through” dairy,
Rasmussen noted — long before the correct spelling gave way to today’s commonly used “drive-thru.”
The business survived a threat to its future just five years ago, in 2014, when the Rasmussens reached an agreement deal with Merlone Geier Partners to share parking with the revamped San Antonio Shopping Center.
Steve, Lian and daughter Kai Rasmussen were approached about an acquisition and decided instead to keep the business going. Unfortunately, Steve told to customers, longtime manager James Liu died that year, and “his tenacious ability to bargain for produce prices could never be imitated.”
This is a developing story. Come back for updates.

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