Southwest Fresno market to close after 93 years of business

EMBED </>More News Videos

The mural caught your eye but many came for the meat and specialty items, so word that Louie Kee Market is closing has stirred emotions among customers. (KFSN)

A locally-owned store, which has served the Southwest Fresno community for almost a century, is now preparing to close.

"It's part of me and part of me is leaving," store owner Sherman Louie said.

The mural caught your eye but many came for the meat and specialty items, so word that Louie Kee Market is closing has stirred emotions among customers.

"My stomach dropped and I cried," customer Peggy Bryant Johnson-Phillips said. "I mean, it's family."

Peggy's been coming here for 60 years and Louie's been proud to give neighborhood kids their first jobs.

"I hired a lot while they were going to Edison," he said. "Just give them a few hours a week here for spending money and I enjoyed that."

Sherman's parents Kee and Effie Louie first opened shop in 1923 in Chinatown. Their nine kids all helped out.

"Our house where we grew up is five blocks down so all these people are like family," Sherman's son Kevin said. "We didn't see color."

Sisters Elaine, Myrtle and Marjorie said it was almost like "playing store" back then.

"We had sacked beans," Elaine said. "We had to write out the tickets. There weren't any computers."

"We had to bottle the wine, we had to bottle the soda," Marjorie added.

The store moved to its current location in 1953. It holds special memories for many people.

"Being sent to the store by my mom with a note," Peggy said. "Signing a little slip when Miss Kee was giving out credit."

Helping out families until pay day was a tradition.
"My grandparents would just do whatever to keep them going," Kevin said. " The meat counter, as you see now, I used to have to stand on a milk crate."

That personal touch has built a loyal customer base. Sherman said a long-time friend recently stopped by.

"He's 94-years-old," he said. "And he said he was shopping here for 65 years see and they're real sad."

It won't be a happy Halloween for some shoppers. That is when Louie Kee Market will close its doors.
Related Topics:
businessbusinessfresnoFresno - Chinatown
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments