Photo by Mark Gibson
An Oregon Food Bank truck sits outside Mosier Market Wednesday afternoon. The store is closing with the retirement of owners Dong and Kim Choi, and surplus food and household items are being donated to the food bank.
As of Thursday, September 8, 2016
Between the two of them, Dong and Kim Choi, owners of Mosier Market, have been opening their doors to customers at 8 a.m. every morning, 365 days a year, for 26 years.
“All those years, not even one day off,” said Kim.
That’s 9,490 days without a break, and the couple said they are ready for a rest and retirement. They will close the market’s doors for the last time by Monday, Sept. 12. The market is located on Highway 30 in Mosier at 1010 Washington St.
Even now, surplus food and household supplies that once lined the store shelves are largely gone, packed into cardboard boxes and loaded into an Oregon Food Bank truck parked outside.
Kim is pleased their surplus will go to helping others in the region meet their basic needs. “They do good things,” she said of the food bank.
The doors remain open, but only beer, wine and tobacco are still being sold, as those items can’t be returned and are not accepted by the food bank. They hope to sell off the remaining goods over the weekend. “We will be selling it at 30 percent off,” she said.
The couple have put the market up for sale, but plan to remain in Mosier, where they have their home.
“It’s a good town, a nice area,” said Kim.“We don’t have to worry about anything. We have nice people here. They are very good, they have been very good to us.” At times, when she was tending the store alone and a group of strangers arrived, community members would keep an eye on her, checking to be sure everything stayed okay.
“The town people make me feel safe,” she said.
She thinks the store will make a good business for someone new.
“It will be a good, safe store for someone,” she said. “The people here are nice — everybody knows everybody else — of course, you have to be nice, too.”