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Couple opens mom-and-pop store, eager to make an impact in the neighborhood. They offer a wide selection of wines, plus have a beer growler station.

STAFF PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE  - Mark and Samira Wirtala are the new owners of Mt. Park Market and are looking forward to meeting neighbors in the area.

When they moved to Oregon, Mark and Samira Wirtala wanted to open a small mom-and-pop store in a nice neighborhood.

They wanted to build the kind of community and life they remembered from their childhoods. When they found the Mt. Park Market, they knew they had found the right location. They were excited about the longevity of the store — it's been a fixture in the community for 50 years.

The couple bought the store last October and set about sprucing it up, meeting their clientele and adding their own touch to the community. Retail management is a new undertaking for them, but they are embracing the challenge and relying on their long careers providing excellent customer service in the food service industry to pave the way. They are both certified sommeliers and most recently worked for the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.

Samira and Mark Wirtala wanted to own a mom-and-pop grocery store, and have added touches of their own, including a growler station to serve beer.

A beer and wine buyer in his former career, Mark has upped the offerings at Mt. Park Market. He has stocked the shelves with local and unique wines from all over the world. Free wine tasting are held from 5-9 p.m. Fridays.

Beer connoisseurs will be delighted to discover the growler station at Mt. Park Market. Enjoy local beer, cider and unique beer from Belgium, France or Germany — they've even poured Brazilian beers, to honor Samira's heritage. Since they pour from small kegs the offerings change frequently.

But if you find a beer you like a lot, you can purchase a keg from Mt. Park Market for home consumption — and they will even deliver it. Select from one-sixth barrels pouring 41 pints to full kegs holding 124 pints. Visit the store for complete information on keg purchases.

Mt. Park Market has the usual stock of chips, cookies, ice cream and other snacks, but you can get gift baskets and other unexpected items there, too. Like crickets.

"I got them just for fun," Samira said, showing a package of crickets, with a sour cream and green onion flavor. "A mom bought some saying she wanted to surprise her children."

Mark Wirtala and his wife, Samira, are both sommeliers and enjoy fine wines. They have stocked Mt. Park Market with a great selection of wines, and host a Friday evening tasting each week. Stop in.

The Wirtalas are seeking even more ways to provide exceptional customer service, and can arrange for deliveries of Stroupe Family Farm's fresh meat products for your convenience. Place an order online at www.stroupefarms.com and request delivery to Mt. Park Market.

Want to watch a movie? They carry newly released DVDs at a great price.

The store is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. The store is located at 4 Monroe Parkway, Suite A, Lake Oswego.

Contact Lake Oswego Review/West Linn Tidings reporter Barb Randall at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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