News

Milk Pail Market, a Mountain View institution for 45 years, to close

Beloved grocer accepts buyout, ending 45-year run for market

After 45 years in Mountain View, the popular Milk Pail Market will be closing its doors permanently. Renowned for its cheese, croissants and crowded aisles, the San Antonio grocer persevered amid intense competition with a loyal customer base, but its owner says the hardships of running a small business were becoming too great.

In a Facebook post, owner Steve Rasmussen said he had accepted a buyout for his store property at the corner of San Antonio Road and California Street and would be closing in the next few months. He did not disclose the buyer.

"The wave of development in Silicon Valley has brought many changes. It was inevitable that one day we, too, would be part of that change," Rasmussen wrote. "Although the closure of the Milk Pail will be bittersweet, we leave with fond memories and immense gratitude for the community that built us."

Explaining his decision, Rasmussen said it was becoming more challenging to maintain a business that is open year-round, especially amid tighter sales and competition. Today, there are at least five chain supermarkets within a block of the Milk Pail.

In recent years, the Milk Pail seemed to be Mountain View's version of the David and Goliath story. Beginning in 2013, Rasmussen was the lone holdout on that side of the San Antonio shopping center, refusing to sell his small corner lot even as the development firm Merlone Geier restricted the market's access to parking and rebuilt everything around it. The plucky grocer's battle with the corporate developer became a local cause celebre, drawing crowds to City Hall, demanding that the Milk Pail be saved.

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The Milk Pail emerged from that feud with a promise of parking and an outpouring of community support, but its business still suffered. Rasmussen said the intense nearby construction impeded access to his store and sometimes sent dust in the air. His customers went elsewhere, and Rasmussen said his business did not rebound even after the construction finished last year.

Today the rustic, old-style Milk Pail stands in stark contrast to the multistory offices and luxury theaters crowding its sides.

Staffing has also remained a persistent challenge for the Milk Pail. Like many employers, Rasmussen said he has had difficulties finding regular service workers amid the high cost of living in Mountain View. For years, Rasmussen's brother-in-law James Liu worked as store manager, but he died unexpectedly in 2014. In recent years, Rasmussen's 20-year-old daughter, Kai, has stepped in to take over management duties at the store.

The Milk Pail site will likely be replaced by an office building. Last year, Mountain View officials approved an initial proposal for an eight-story, 250,000 square-foot office building at the corner site in order to secure needed funding to build a new elementary school.

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Mark Noack writes for the Mountain View Voice, the sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

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Milk Pail Market, a Mountain View institution for 45 years, to close

Beloved grocer accepts buyout, ending 45-year run for market

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Mar 19, 2019, 2:00 pm

After 45 years in Mountain View, the popular Milk Pail Market will be closing its doors permanently. Renowned for its cheese, croissants and crowded aisles, the San Antonio grocer persevered amid intense competition with a loyal customer base, but its owner says the hardships of running a small business were becoming too great.

In a Facebook post, owner Steve Rasmussen said he had accepted a buyout for his store property at the corner of San Antonio Road and California Street and would be closing in the next few months. He did not disclose the buyer.

"The wave of development in Silicon Valley has brought many changes. It was inevitable that one day we, too, would be part of that change," Rasmussen wrote. "Although the closure of the Milk Pail will be bittersweet, we leave with fond memories and immense gratitude for the community that built us."

Explaining his decision, Rasmussen said it was becoming more challenging to maintain a business that is open year-round, especially amid tighter sales and competition. Today, there are at least five chain supermarkets within a block of the Milk Pail.

In recent years, the Milk Pail seemed to be Mountain View's version of the David and Goliath story. Beginning in 2013, Rasmussen was the lone holdout on that side of the San Antonio shopping center, refusing to sell his small corner lot even as the development firm Merlone Geier restricted the market's access to parking and rebuilt everything around it. The plucky grocer's battle with the corporate developer became a local cause celebre, drawing crowds to City Hall, demanding that the Milk Pail be saved.

The Milk Pail emerged from that feud with a promise of parking and an outpouring of community support, but its business still suffered. Rasmussen said the intense nearby construction impeded access to his store and sometimes sent dust in the air. His customers went elsewhere, and Rasmussen said his business did not rebound even after the construction finished last year.

Today the rustic, old-style Milk Pail stands in stark contrast to the multistory offices and luxury theaters crowding its sides.

Staffing has also remained a persistent challenge for the Milk Pail. Like many employers, Rasmussen said he has had difficulties finding regular service workers amid the high cost of living in Mountain View. For years, Rasmussen's brother-in-law James Liu worked as store manager, but he died unexpectedly in 2014. In recent years, Rasmussen's 20-year-old daughter, Kai, has stepped in to take over management duties at the store.

The Milk Pail site will likely be replaced by an office building. Last year, Mountain View officials approved an initial proposal for an eight-story, 250,000 square-foot office building at the corner site in order to secure needed funding to build a new elementary school.

Mark Noack writes for the Mountain View Voice, the sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

Comments

Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm
41 people like this

Such a shame. They tried so hard to fight the developers, but they lost the customer base. When Safeway moved and San Antonio started getting destroyed, local people altered their habits. It was not as convenient a location when BevMo and Ross moved.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:36 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:36 pm
35 people like this

>> 250,000 square-foot office building

Negating the housing benefit wrt jobs/housing (im)balance of a bunch of new residential units nearby. Don't talk to me about "housing". Talk about NOT BUILDING new office space. The good news is that the people working in that office building, if and when it is built, will never be able to get in to work during normal commute hours.


No palo alto input needed
Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm
No palo alto input needed, Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 3:02 pm
7 people like this

Nothing for palo alto to see here. This property is in mountain view, so palo alto had zero input.
Sounds like community support did not materialize, running a store 365 days a year is not easy. After 45 years the internet deserves to do what he wants.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2019 at 3:11 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2019 at 3:11 pm
28 people like this

Posted by No palo alto input needed, a resident of Mountain View

>> Nothing for palo alto to see here. This property is in mountain view, so palo alto had zero input.

Sure. Less traffic for you, since, I drive to shop there. You OK if I shop at Sprouts from time to time? I wasn't aware that we had segregated shopping now. Enjoy your new 250,000 square feet of office space. I can hardly wait to see traffic on San Antonio.


Bikermom
Evergreen Park
on Mar 19, 2019 at 4:45 pm
Bikermom , Evergreen Park
on Mar 19, 2019 at 4:45 pm
28 people like this

This is so sad. I love this place so much. My kids loved going here and picking out random exotic fruits. Where will I go to get 3 bags if produce for $30


No palo alto input needed
Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 4:51 pm
No palo alto input needed, Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 4:51 pm
42 people like this

[Post removed.]


casey
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 19, 2019 at 6:12 pm
casey, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 19, 2019 at 6:12 pm
27 people like this

Sad to see that the Milk Pail will be closing. After the construction, there was only one way into the shop, and the parking lot was often full. I still went to Milk Pail for its one-of-a-kind items, but only during off-peak hours. Milk Pail is the small grocery store that I wished we had in Palo Alto.


No palo alto input needed
Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 6:27 pm
No palo alto input needed, Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 6:27 pm
16 people like this

Milk Pail is the small grocery store that I wished we had in Palo Alto."

You have it, Casey. It is called the midtown Safeway, except midtown Safeway is under stocked and not very clean. You might want to try college terrace market


JR
Palo Verde
on Mar 19, 2019 at 6:47 pm
JR, Palo Verde
on Mar 19, 2019 at 6:47 pm
12 people like this

If you want to run good local businesses into the ground that's your business. If you have been paying attention, small business is dying in your city. See Fishscapes, Bierhaus, Milk Pail, and many more.

Stay classy, Mountain View.


No palo alto input needed
Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 7:10 pm
No palo alto input needed, Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 7:10 pm
17 people like this

JR- saw your comment in the MV voice. There you blamed developers. Can't get your story straight?
Did you READ the story- 40+ years, 365 days a year. He has had enough.
Stay classy. JR, but stay in palo alto.


peninsula resident
another community
on Mar 19, 2019 at 7:50 pm
peninsula resident, another community
on Mar 19, 2019 at 7:50 pm
74 people like this

"The Milk Pail site will likely be replaced by an office building."

Whew! What a relief! I was just saying to some friends the other day, "hey, I'm getting very worried! There's not enough office buildings being built! Oh, the humanity!!!"

But thankfully the Milk Pail will be replaced with an office building, so we've got that going for us, which is nice.


A Tale Of Two Cities
Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 8:57 pm
A Tale Of Two Cities, Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2019 at 8:57 pm
18 people like this

>> Nothing for palo alto to see here. This property is in mountain view, so palo alto had zero input.

Yep. Not Palo Alto's business...both figuratively & literally.


>> the stores in palo alto are small, dirty and understocked.d. And we have many ethnic grocery stores which are not allowed in palo alto.

Why no ethnic grocery stores in Palo Alto? Always wondered.


>> midtown Safeway is under stocked and not very clean.

Midtown Safeway = The poorest excuse for a Safeway if there ever was one.


>> If you have been paying attention, small business is dying in your city.

Nice to know that Palo Alto has avoided this. Shall we take a count of all the former small businesses in Palo Alto that no longer exist?


About the only thing Palo Alto & Mountain View have in common is that they welcome transient RVs to park all over the city.






chris
University South
on Mar 20, 2019 at 12:23 am
chris, University South
on Mar 20, 2019 at 12:23 am
6 people like this

Palo Alto had its chances to get a new larger Safeway, but the residents opposed it and the big new Safeways went to Mountain View and Menlo Park near the Palo Alto borders.


I miss my small town feel
Los Altos
on Mar 20, 2019 at 7:58 am
I miss my small town feel, Los Altos
on Mar 20, 2019 at 7:58 am
8 people like this

We write letters to help save a small business and preserve some small town character then the owner, before they even finish all the construction on San Antonio Rd, sells after a few years of massive property appreciation.

What if we wrote letters to ask the developer turn the site into a park with green trees to help take carbon out of the atmosphere added by all the commuters to the tall buildings?


NeverAgain
Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:20 am
NeverAgain, Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:20 am
27 people like this

The bickering from the MV and PA commenters in this comment thread does not accurately portray the sentiment of the average or even 99% of the remaining populations of their respective home cities.

The Palo Alto stereotype is overdone and old, and all it has left is a strong, catchy, and Apple-esque ring to it, Shallow Alto. Let’s end it, children, please? We’ve got enough to worry about, eh?

We’re all individual, normal people here. Stereotypes kill, can we agree on that?

Peace.

#NeverAgain


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:39 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:39 am
11 people like this

Posted by chris, a resident of University South

>> Palo Alto had its chances to get a new larger Safeway, but the residents opposed it and the big new Safeways went to Mountain View and Menlo Park near the Palo Alto borders.

With any luck, Midtown Safeway will close and be replaced by something more useful, like a Sprouts. Then I won't have to go to the Mountain View traffic nexus. Traffic on San Antonio is getting to be insufferable. And that is before all the new office space goes in. What are they thinking?



Cheese :-(
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:50 am
Cheese :-(, Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:50 am
24 people like this

I will miss the cheese and the fruit selections! Wish the owner all the best luck!


A Tale Of Two Cities
Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:53 am
A Tale Of Two Cities, Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 9:53 am
7 people like this

> What if we wrote letters to ask the developer turn the site into a park with green trees to help take carbon out of the atmosphere added by all the commuters to the tall buildings?

Seriously? There is no return on investment by building a pseudo-natural park...just added maintenance costs. Residential dwellings generate added revenue.

On the other hand, building a massive 'theme park' (i.e. a Disneyland) might add revenue but the traffic gridlock would be abhorent to those residing in adjacent areas.

The difference between Palo Alto & Mountain View in terms of certain parks...

(1) Palo Alto built Foothills Park with its own money & as a result, the park is only accesible to city residents (which makes sense IMO).

(2) Mountain View built Cuesta Park with the assistance of federal funds so it must be made available to everyone. As a result, far more outsiders use the Cuesta Park facilities than the local neighborhoods.

A developer will not build a park just for the sake of building a park. Park benches, playgrounds & open space are the least of their concerns. Developers want to compress land area by maximizing its usage.


> The bickering from the MV and PA commenters in this comment thread does not accurately portray the sentiment of the average or even 99% of the remaining populations of their respective home cities.

Since the demographics of both cities are changing (i.e. 40% Asian in Palo Alto & 30% Asian in Mountain View) your comment is true to some extent but among older & longer tenured residents, I suspect that these sentiments are somewhat reflective of their 'civic pride'.

Palo Alto does tend to come off as more sophisticated & educated (at times) than Mountain View but Mountain View's Library is clearly superior while Palo Alto offers more upscale shopping to the materialistic elitists. Palo Alto's connection to Stanford makes it a 'college town' while Mountain Views roots were originally in agriculture.

Thus some Palo Altans may still view some Mountain View folks as provincials while some Mountain View residents might view some Palo Altans as elitist snobs.

Wear the hat that best fits. Real people don't care one way or the other.


Dan
Midtown
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:07 am
Dan, Midtown
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:07 am
18 people like this

The whole re-developed area around San Antonio shopping center looks totally lifeless. Little street-level activity (other than car traffic) to invite shoppers in, so another office building built right to the sidewalk will fit right in. Sad to see Milk Pail go.


John
Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:13 am
John , Mountain View
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:13 am
1 person likes this

As a commuter soon to retire..good luck


Palo Alto Milk Pail Customer
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:33 am
Palo Alto Milk Pail Customer, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:33 am
36 people like this

I enjoyed riding my bike to Milk Pail for fresh produce and their lovely cheeses. Best wishes.

I am sorry to see another retailer leave. It is hard to get good things I need these days. I really hate shopping on the internet. You can't see things to evaluate quality. Color reproduction on a screen is unreliable. Everything arrives in massive packaging that I then have to figure out how to dispose. I like dealing with local business owners. I like touching and looking at things before I buy them. Shopping on the internet is not easier when you consider the hassle of responsible packaging disposal, returns, etc. I find it annoying. Stuff that looks good on the screen is cheap crap when it arrives. I shop local retail as often as I can. Join me! Internet shopping is sucking the life out of our local community centers.


Resisent
Crescent Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:52 am
Resisent, Crescent Park
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:52 am
3 people like this

For those who complain about (a) cleanliness of stores, and (b) the lack of an ethnic grocery store in Palo Alto:
Please visit 99 Ranch (MV), India Cash & Carry (Sunnyvale), HMart (SJ), and Apna Bazar (Sunnyvale) to see if any of them would pass muster with you.


Grew Up Here
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm
Grew Up Here, Palo Alto High School
on Mar 20, 2019 at 12:04 pm
15 people like this

Palo Altans are intellectual and book smart but they are not street/life smart. Book smart is overrated.


Keep It Clean
Atherton
on Mar 20, 2019 at 12:36 pm
Keep It Clean, Atherton
on Mar 20, 2019 at 12:36 pm
8 people like this

> Please visit 99 Ranch (MV), India Cash & Carry (Sunnyvale), HMart (SJ), and Apna Bazar (Sunnyvale) to see if any of them would pass muster with you.

Good point. Reflective of cultural practices in their respective homelands. Not acceptable in the United States.

I have been to India & Mexico...got sick both times.


Rose
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:09 pm
Rose, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:09 pm
18 people like this

What a loss! Thank you, Mr. Rasmussen, for your unique and wonderful groceries. I’ve loved your store for so many years — especially the incredible variety of cheeses and interesting treats from Europe. Always good prices and a fascinating variety, I’m already missing you terribly. I wish you and your staff all the best in your future endeavors.
Love, from a longtime Palo Alto fan


Long Time Shopper
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:13 pm
Long Time Shopper, Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:13 pm
9 people like this

I have shopped at The Milk Pail frequently since it opened.
I liked the selection of produce however I did notice problems.
1) About 10 years ago I saw maggots in the plastic repackaged bulk dry items. I let the owner/manager know about it. He seemed to not care. No apologies whatsoever.

2) Several employees who came to know and recognize me over the years, told me that working there was awful because there were no facilities for them to wash up.
They also told me it was not sanitary.
These were just random complaints to me.
I felt sorry for them working so hard in hot conditions in summer, and cold conditions in winter. I'm not sure if a wash station and break area were ever added.

3) Two years ago I experienced food poisoning for the first time in my life after eating a single cherry tomato which I purchased there and washed at home.
It was so serious that I had to be hospitalized.
When I recovered, I called them to inquire if any other customers had become ill. The female employee became very defensive. I now realize I should have notified the county to inspect them.

I don't have a problem with Ranch, Cardenas (Mi Pueblo) or the Indian Markets.
The problem with Milk Pail was that it was basically totally outdoors, and impossible to keep clean and hygienic.

I will miss it, but actually I'm surprised that it lasted this long.


A big city transplant
Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:45 pm
A big city transplant, Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:45 pm
4 people like this

the area is losing many of the benefits that used to accompany suburban living near a vibrant city but has few of the advantages of a real city. San Jose seems to be on the rise culturally and San Francisco is a great city. There is a great homogenization going on. Maybe time to become a city dweller once again.


Life is a risk
Greenmeadow
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:49 pm
Life is a risk, Greenmeadow
on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:49 pm
31 people like this

To Long Time Shopper:

I wonder how Sigona market, all farmers markets in many cities, and all other outdoor markets in all cities and villages on all continents of the world deal with outdoor exposure of their produce ... hmmm ...


FrequentShopper
Midtown
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:27 pm
FrequentShopper, Midtown
on Mar 20, 2019 at 11:27 pm
5 people like this

I will miss the best cheese shop in Bay Area! With the background in producing dairy products, the owners offer the widest variety of domestic and international cheeses in an affordable prices. I hope to see them again somewhere in Bay Area, or open a store within a larger store to save cost and continue their highly appreciated service to their customers.


Grew Up Here
Palo Alto High School
on Mar 21, 2019 at 1:36 am
Grew Up Here, Palo Alto High School
on Mar 21, 2019 at 1:36 am
7 people like this

I used to drive to Milk Pail for the cheap produce prices but it really was not a clean environment.

Ever since The Market opened (Embarcadero), I have shopped exclusively there (thank goodness I no longer have to shop at Safeway, Midtown). The store is immaculate (but I don't like that they vacuum in the middle of the day, should be at the end of the day). The meat and seafood, poki, sushi are all high quality and from healthy sources and the produce is clean and inviting too. Steve in the deli knows his cheeses, worked at Draeger's before. Anytime I have weird ingredients I need for a gourmet recipe, I can count on finding it there. Plus, when I read reviews for food items, they always have the best rated there. They also have mainstream brands, the perfect mix of offerings. And if a line forms, someone always opens a new register to help so I rarely wait in line longer than a few minutes. The cashiers are always friendly. I also love that there are no weird smells in the store, like those natural lotions and such. Some of the Hispanics don't speak English well enough so they don't understand (meat dept. and deli). The cakes are awesome! I'm always thanking God for this store!


Inevitable Sad Progress
Midtown
on Mar 21, 2019 at 11:33 am
Inevitable Sad Progress, Midtown
on Mar 21, 2019 at 11:33 am
9 people like this

This is a story that we have seen before...

Su Hong is closing as the owners are getting up in years and it was too difficult to find and maintain staff.

Keeble & Shuchat closed due to falling sales as shoppers went on-line. To save a few $$$ in purchase price they lost any hope of personal knowledgeable service.

Palo Alto Hardware (midtown) closed as the owner was getting older and could not find small lot jobbers to sell small quantities of hardware for the one off store.

The ecosystem that supports small retail establishments are in free fall throughout the country. Many articles have been written about this trend. Storefronts are empty across the US.

Simply requiring developers to include ground floor retail is not solving the problem. There are no small retail businesses to fill these spaces. As a result, our sidewalks are turning into deserts.

Look in the mirror. You are to blame. We prefer to buy a Chinese screwdriver for .75 at Walmart than pay $2.00 for a US made on in a small hardware store. We prefer to pay $175 for a camera on Amazon and not the $215 at the local hands on camera shop.

If all that is important to us is price and shopping in our PJ's, this is the end game.


Deng Zhao
Charleston Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Deng Zhao, Charleston Meadows
on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:10 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


Another Local
Midtown
on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:08 pm
Another Local, Midtown
on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:08 pm
4 people like this

I used to shop here all the time, grew up in the area, over 30 years. The quality has been going down, their cheese selection is poor. How can you call yourself a European Market and not have the three most popular cheeses for cheese fondue? It was never particularly clean, but at least it was cheap. Like another poster, I now get all my produce at The Market at Edgewood. Super low produce prices and fantastic quality. I hope the Rasmussen's do extremely well on the sale of their property and wish them the very best in their retirement.


Ed
another community
on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:55 pm
Ed, another community
on Mar 21, 2019 at 5:55 pm
6 people like this

Regarding this comment: “I will miss the best cheese shop in Bay Area!”

You don’t have to miss the best cheese shop in the Bay Area because it remains The Cheeseboard (in Berkeley)


Natalia
Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 11:11 pm
Natalia , Mountain View
on Mar 21, 2019 at 11:11 pm
Like this comment

Nooo I love this place. Why they don’t want to rebuild old ugly apartments everywhere? Really sad. 45-years busses.. it’s our history.


Palo Alto Refugee
another community
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:28 pm
Palo Alto Refugee, another community
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:28 pm
Like this comment

So glad I left Palo Alto. I have all the good things I enjoyed that are gone in Palo Alto in San Jose and more. Even have less traffic.


Tom from Midtown
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:40 pm
Tom from Midtown, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 22, 2019 at 12:40 pm
Like this comment

I'm a bit baffled reading all the comments that bemoan the lack of family-owned, well-stocked markets around Midtown. When we first moved here 35 years ago I shopped at Safeway because it was 3 blocks away. It seemed fine at the time. Since I discovered Piazza's, maybe 25 years ago, I rarely go anywhere else. It is much better stocked than Safeway and the prices are very competitive (yes, I've checked). People have focused on the cheese selections (because of Milk Pail) and Piazza's is, IMO, probably second only to Draeger's; try finding Harbison anywhere else. Their wine and produce selections are certainly good to very good, and their butcher shop is really quite good (they make nearly all their own sausage, for example, and they're happy to accommodate special requests). Beyond that are some intangibles. First, they listen -- ask them about getting something and don't be surprised if it's there the next time you shop. Second, the staff clearly enjoys working for (and with) the Piazza family, one or more members of whom are often there at the store. Finally, they actually attend to customers; if there are two customers in line at a register, you'll quickly hear a store-wide announcement asking a particular staff member to help check, and they'll likely be there within the minute. Try that at Safeway! Milk Pail was a neat place to go, and I loved the way they held out against the development around them. But I don't think I'll really miss them.


Lynn
Greenmeadow
on Mar 22, 2019 at 4:11 pm
Lynn, Greenmeadow
on Mar 22, 2019 at 4:11 pm
5 people like this

A LITTLE MORE HISTORY: When Steve first opened the Milk Pail DAIRY 45 years ago, I believe his only employee was Oscar. A customer would drive up alongside a covered "entry" and hand the metal milk bottle container with the used glass quart bottles to Oscar, along with their new order. Oscar would disappear for a moment to the huge refrigerator cases (perhaps the same ones used today?) and return with the fresh milk. The milk came from cows on the ranch I think the Rasmussen family operated somewhere near Fremont, or perhaps Newark. Oscar may have been Steve's Uncle, or even perhaps his Grandpa. Slowly expanding over the years, first to cheeses, then to produce, Steve built and built, within that tiny space, the business so loved by enough people that they really went to bat for him when losing the property was imminent and parking was threatened. On my many regular trips there, I always found the lot almost full, with frequent enough turnover that a new car entering would usually find just one or two spots waiting for it, possibly with the exception of weekend peak hours. Actually, what I think I will miss the most were the multiple choices of pate, (which Trader Joe's doesn't carry), at about 50%-60% the price at Piazza's. So very sad to see the Market end, but thanking Steve for a very special shopping opportunity, and wishing him a long and well-deserved retirement. P.S. No one in my family ever got ill from the less-than-immaculate conditions there, and to my best recollection, they were never ever dinged from the Health Department.


Dog mom
Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 26, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Dog mom, Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 26, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Like this comment

I feel guilty that I didn’t go to milk Pail more often, but considered it a favorUte place. It did become less convenient lately with the thickening traffic. I too have become attached to the Edgewood market, what a great store! Prices are cheaper than Safeway with lots of local and organic. Give it a try, also a family business I believe.


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