It was an emotional day as Colusa community members prepared to say goodbye to their beloved supermarket, Chung Sun.
On July, 31, 2014 the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce hosted a special closing ceremony for Chung Sun Market in Colusa.
Chamber President Donna Phelan, presented the Lee Family with the Distinguished Service to Community award.
“In recognition of business leadership and outstanding commitment to the people of Colusa County. From the humble beginnings in 1920, in the Lee Toy Building at Fourth and Main Streets, Chung Sun Market has been a business partner providing Colusa County with a quality market and the community with employment opportunities for nearly a century,” said Phelan, “Your contributions to the community, especially with your generous charitable giving, will always be a part of the history of Colusa County, a legend held in the highest regard. “
Colusa Mayor, Greg Ponciano proclaimed July 31, 2014 as Chung Sun Market Day.
Ponciano noted that the community wasn’t just losing their store, they were losing a bit of their child-hood.
Bob Lee stood before the crowd with tears in his eyes, over joyous with emotions and support.
“I never thought there would be this many people showing up,” said Lee, “I want everyone to know that Colusa is still our home. Although we won’t be at the store, you will see us around the community.”
“I could ever see myself living somewhere else,” Lee added.
An outpour of emotions were shared on Facebook when the store was first published; many have shared memories of the Colusa Staple.
“One of the reasons I decided to relocate to Colusa is because of this locally owned and operated market. I enjoyed riding my bike to get groceries there, as well as interacting with the owners and staff. They’ll be missed!” – Tracy Hughes Riddle
“I will Miss Chung Suns. It was a great grocery store and what a wonderful family. Good luck and have great retirement. Love to all the Lee Family.” – Claire Froh
“I have so many great memories of this store. My friend Mary Young [Kam Lee’s Granddaughter] and I playing and making forts in the back with Grandpa giggling at us, playing upstairs where Grandma was always cooking something to me that at the time was so exotic. I will miss the store but will miss the people more.” – Julie Leber
“End of an era. We will never forget that store, and all the times we shopped there. The family own stored was a fixture in the community, and their warm presence will never be forgotten. Thank you for the memories, and enjoy a well-deserved retirement.” – Della McDermott
“From the time I was little we always shopped there, I would always ask for a dollar worth of doughnut holes, which was the best thing ever growing up. Memories like this I still treasure to this day. It’s the people who made the store so welcoming, everyone knew each other by name that’s just how Chung Sun Market was. My grandmother Alice Miller would even shop there. She loved the friendly service -she would even walk the two-and-a-half blocks just to get a fresh loaf of French bread. I would like to say THANK YOU for the memories.” – Nicole Buchanan
“My Great Grandfather would walk with my mom from the reservation to shop at Chung Sun’s when she was a little girl. I love the at home atmosphere and they always had a smile and greeting for everyone. You don’t see this in big chain stores, no smile, no help, just hurry through the line. Thank you Lee family for giving your utmost to this community. Please know this, you will be missed; but I say to you please enjoy your retirement and those grandkids you deserve it!” – Geraldine Freeman
Not only locals were shocked by the news, but travelers, and duck hunters alike.
“We always bought steaks from them!” said one commenter on a duck hunting forum.
While others commented on the hometown feel and claiming Chung Sun’s to have the best “Meat Market in Town!”
It’s the end of an era for Colusa County, and the beginning of new beginnings for the Lee Family.
“Thank you for your years of business, service and dedication to the people of this community,” said Phelan.■