Vignette > Suey Kee’s

Suey Kee was born in Canton China. In the 1890s, he immigrated to Mill Valley as a laborer for the North Pacific Coast Railroad. He later ran a Chinese washhouse. In1897, he established a fruit and vegetable business. He walked up and down hills delivering produce in huge heavy baskets hung from a yoke across his shoulders. Much of his produce came from a vegetable farm on leased land near the Millwood railroad station on Miller Ave.  He established a vegetable store downtown in one of O’Shaughnessy’s buildings.  He tallied his transactions on an abacus. In December 1898, Suey Kee received a trainload of 2,000 sacks of Burbank potatoes. He stored them in an open area east of the depot. Suey Kee was soon called the “leading fruit merchant of Mill Valley.”  In about 1920, he turned over the business to his nephew, Chuck Hong, and returned to his native Canton, a wealthy man.  In 1925, there were 11 grocery stores within one-half mile of the Mill Valley depot. Suey Kee’s was one of them. In1934, Suey Kee’s moved into a newly constructed building at 41 Throckmorton Ave.  The business closed around 1959.