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Family Dream Melts Away as Miller's Closes

The sandwich and ice cream shop is for sale.

The last day of clas at Watsonville High is June 8. That's also the final day will be open.

Students comprise about 80 percent of the deli's customers and that just isn't enough to sustain the family business, according to Michelle Miller, who opened the shop in 2007 with her father and sister.

"I think it's been a good opportunity for us that we've had for the past five years," Miller said, seated at one of the tables after the deli closed Thursday.

The Millers opened up shop when Michelle's father, who owns a lot of residential rentals in the area, got a chance to buy the commerical space at the corner of Center and Carr streets. The sisters dropped what they were doing—Michelle was studying film and graphic design—to start the business.

It's been great, Miller said.

Miller's sister has two boys, ages 6 and 7, who have grown up in the deli and often do their homework there afterschool. It's been fun to have relationship with the customers, knowing them so well the staff has memorized their orders.

But the problems have been many: the down economy, maybe the deli's prices should be higher, the ring of one-way roads surrounding the shop that limit traffic and the constant student crowd has been a turnoff for adult customers, Miller said.

"We're at the point where we're losing money," she said.

With summer break around the corner, the family doesn't think the business could survive without its student crowd.

Also, the 11 hour days are tiring. Miller said she's ready to get back to pursuing her dreams.

"I don't want to be sad about it," Miller said. "It's an opportunity that came and went."

The family is starting to let customers know, and are trying to sell the property. If anyone if interested in a business opportunity please contact Dennis Miller  (831) 761-3663.

The deli's hours until June 8 are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

This is a big loss. They were a wonderful addition to the community. I know I have made many visits to their shop and always had the most tasty sandwiches. They have also opened their doors as hosts for Networking Mixers. Best wishes on their next journey.
Anna May 26, 2012 at 03:40 AM
A cash-mob would be a good way for Watsonville to say goodbye to the awesomeness that is Miller's.
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