Almanac

News - September 4, 2013

Nak's Oriental Market to stay open

by Jane Knoerle

Good news. Nak's Oriental Market Menlo Park's last downtown mom-and-pop grocery store will stay in business.

In the July 12 issue, the Almanac noted the market at 1151 Chestnut St. was struggling to stay open, due to financial troubles and owner Sam Kurose's illness. Their son Ken now reports that his parents, Sam and Ikie, are moving to Nevada this month and he will take over the business.

In a posting on the Almanac's Town Square, Ken Kurose wrote: "Wo! We appreciate you all for your support. My folks will be moving between the 12th and 14th of this month. They bought a house in Sparks, Nev. I will be running the store from then on. Thanks again for all your comments."

According to the July 12 article, after learning of Nak's plight, loyal customers, such as Diane Jordan Wexler, started an email exchange to ask the community to support the market. "Let's visit Nak's and tell our friends to support this special place," Ms. Wexler wrote. "If we each visit the store and send emails to relevant list-serves, it will help this important part of our community's fabric to stay intact."

Nak's current lease ends in December 2014. Until then Ken Kurose said he will work in the store and try to make a profit.

In business for 45 years, Nak's carries a unique selection of Asian and Dutch food products, in addition to choice produce and sushi-grade fish. Ken Kurose is introducing such new items as jackfruit and purple mangosteen not found in local stores, and will continue to provide the Dutch treats, Thai basil, fresh bamboo shoots, kaffir lime leaves, galangal or tofu customers would otherwise have to drive to Mountain View or San Mateo to find.

He vows to keep Nak's the kind of market that harks back to the days when grocers knew you by name and were happy to hurry down the aisles to search for that special item.

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