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Longtime Mountain Market owners leaving in early June

Lease not renewed but Mountain Market to stay but under new ownership

Mountain Market majority owners Rachel Keller and Jonathan Neppl in front of the store off Midland Avenue.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Whether it was to pick up a six-pack following a day on the slopes or to refuel after commuting up- and down-valley all week, locals have frequented the Mountain Market in Glenwood Springs for over a decade.

In 2007, Doug Keller purchased the business located at 3950 Midland Ave. near Four Mile Road and ran its day-to-day operations with his wife Jenny Keller.

A few years ago, Keller asked his daughter, Rachel Keller, if she and her husband Jonathan Neppl would be interested in taking over the family business to which they agreed.

In 2016, Keller and Neppl relocated from California to Glenwood Springs in order to run the Mountain Market and have done so ever since.

“We knew that the lease was coming to an end but we were just hoping for another lease,” Rachel Keller said.

When Keller and Neppl asked about a lease extension over a year ago, the building’s owner, Dave Rippy, said he was not going to re-lease the space when their lease expired in early June.

“We’ve had to live with it for the last 18 months, knowing that this isn’t ours anymore,” Keller said. “It just felt good to have this little business and all of these wonderful customers.”

Keller and Neppl will sell the Mountain Market’s inventory to Rippy following their last day Saturday.

“Nothing is going to change,” Rippy said. “It’s pretty much a seamless transition.”

Rippy, who has owned the property for nearly 20 years, will now own the business, too, with a few other partners.

Rippy said the Mountain Market will reopen on June 6 and other than a few capital improvements this fall, will remain largely unchanged.

“It had always been my plan to take it over,” Rippy said. “The average person won’t notice a bit of change.”

Julie Covington has lived down the road from the Mountain Market for 11 years, and said she stops in at least every other day, sometimes just to say hello to Keller and Neppl.

“Rachel and John are just such wonderful people that it’s going to be hard to not see them.” Covington said. “They’re like family.”

While Keller’s dad earned a living operating gas stations across Colorado, Keller never envisioned the livelihood for herself.

However, after running the Mountain Market and getting to know most of its clientele by name, Keller and Neppl, now, can’t imagine doing anything else.

“The community has been great,” Neppl said. “So many people have come in and out.”

Keller said although a new lease did not come to fruition, she was still grateful for all of the lasting friendships she made over the years while working at the Mountain Market.

“Mostly, we just wanted to say thank you,” Keller said. “We loved it and we learned a lot.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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