Mountain View's Milk Pail Market closing doors after 45 years

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- The Milk Pail Market has been a staple for customers looking for all types of food in Mountain View, Calif.

From fresh produce to cheeses from around world, the Milk Pail had it all. But now, they are closing.

Unlike many Bay Area businesses that have had to close due to rent issues, the Milk Pail have a simple reason for closing down.

The Rasmussen Family has decided to part ways with the property and move on to the next part of their lives.

"A few months ago when we were suspecting that this was going to be happening," Milk Pail Market Owner Steve Rasmussen said. "I was full of anguish thinking about how it was going to devastate customers of ours who have been shopping with us for 45, 40, 30 years."

Steve Rasmussen owns the land and has sold it.

It's unclear what will come of the property at this time.

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He remembers so many of his customers from his 45 years of working as the owner of the Milk Pail.

His father was a small business owner.

As a young man in his 20's, he decided to follow in his dad's footsteps and purchase the bankrupt business that would soon become the Milk Pail.

More than four decades later, he and his family have created a favorite spot for people looking for just about anything.

"We've developed a business that has unbelievably unusual products," Steve said. "We have ethic products that cater to people from Eastern Europe, Asia and Wisconsin. We have cheese curds from Wisconsin. We've created this quirky, funky little business and we cater to a huge group of people."

Modeled after a European-style open market, the Milk Pail was changed from a drive-thru market to a shop with fresh produce, cheeses from around the world and almost anything else you can dream of.

It's the reason customers have stuck by the Milk Pail since they first opened their downs.

"This place has been opened for 45 years and I was one of Steve's first customers," Stephanie Austin said. "This has been here a long time. People come from all over the world and I ask them, 'where do you shop?' Many of them say the Milk Pail."

"I'm very disappointed," Janet Benson said. "There's no where else like it in this area."

One of the most proud memories of running the market that Steve has had is running it alongside his daughters.

Kai and Erika have worked as managers under their father, Steve, while they went to college.

As they look to their futures, the family decided to close down the store and move on from the small business.

But, like Steve, Kai said it has been amazing to work with her family in building a legacy in Mountain View.

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"Having been part of this family legacy for 45 years, I know that this is a significant part of the community," Milk Pail Manager Kai Rasmussen said. "I've been able to witness that first-hand in my small amount of time here. Just knowing that we've built up such a devout following of customers with such a culture around the store is great. Leaving that behind or deciding to walk away is sad but also timely for my family."

Only a few days remain to come and get the famous items sold at the Milk Pail Market.

The Rasmussen's look forward to seeing all their favorite customers in the final days.

"Thank you everyone who has supported us in the community for 45 years," Steve said. "Our family, staff and vendors appreciate everything that has been done for us."

"We're still open until June 30, so we hope to see everyone stop by the store and pick up their final frozen croissants and cheeses while we're still open."

Learn more about the Milk Pail Market by visiting their website here.
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