For almost a century, Chung Sun Market has served the needs of Colusa residents, and many are finding it difficult to imagine their beloved store no longer in business.
For Shirley Glaze, this means having to find another place for her lunch.
“I have eaten lunch at Chung Sun Market almost every day since I started working at Davison’s ten years ago,” said Glaze, “I do not like that they are closing, but I understand why.”
Like many of those who patronized the store, Glaze during her lunch hour walked across the parking-lot to have one of Chung Sun’s butchers prepare a fresh handmade sandwich, or she purchased something from their hot food.
“I am going to thoroughly to miss it.” said Glaze.
Chung Sun Market has earned its reputation for quality. Providing the best cuts of beef, and old fashioned service.
“They believed in bagging your groceries and helping you out to the car,” said Linda Bowers, “something you just don’t see anymore.”
Earlier this month, the owners of Chung Sun Market have announced that at the close of business on July 31, 2014, the beloved community Market will lock it’s doors for the last time.
“It is a bittersweet moment,” said co-owner Jim Lee, “times are changing, and it feels like the right time for retirement.”
Lee also mentioned the difficulties with keeping up with current trends and large box stores.
In 1920, Lee’s father, Kam, opened the doors to his beloved Market at the corner of Seventh and Main Street in Colusa.
Originally from China, Kam traveled to America where he was employed with the O’Sullivan family ranch as a cook. There he prepared many meals for the farm laborers.
In the midst of the conversation with one of Kam’s friends, he was talked into opening a market.
“My father did not know much about running a store,” said Lee, “after some debate, he decided to give it a try.”
As a one man operation, Kam would deliver goods to his customers on foot, then by bicycle, and later purchasing a delivery truck.
“I remember my father telling us about how he would deliver 100lbs of potatoes to restaurants on the back of his bike,” said Lee.
That tradition continued for many years as customers placed phone orders, having their groceries delivered to their doors.
Chung Sun Market has always been a family affair as many of Kam’s nine children worked or helped out at the store.
“Back in those day’s there were no shopping carts, at least in our small store,” said Lee, “instead us kids helped the customers collect their items and put them on the counter.”
Kam would also purchase or trade goods with local farmers to sell the locally grown products at his store.
“my father would grow watermelons and take them to Kam to sell in his Market,” said Patricia Ash, of Williams, “this was during the depression, and he was very glad to have the opportunity.”
In 1957, the Lee family built the modern store located adjacent to the old Market.
Business was booming; with a full service bakery, and meat department, Colusa residents shopped in luxury, and comfort.
Today, Chung Sun Market employs approximately 17 employees, and some have been with the company for over 20 years.
“We have a great staff, and we’ve appreciated all of their hard work over the years,” said Lee.
“I would also like to thank all our customers for their support and patronage all these years. We have many loyal customers, and it is greatly appreciated.” Lee added.
On July 31st, Chung Sun Market will close its doors. Locking away over 90 years of dedication, and commitment to its community.
“I am looking forward to spending time more with my grand-kids,” said Lee, “but I am going to miss this place.”