Asian Market sparks American interest
Tee Nguyen, co-owner of Buff n Stuff nail salon, has recently ventured into another business that is close to his heart and his taste.
Asian Market opened its door in February with the goal to meet the locals’ need for an oriental grocery store.
“There are many international students from Troy University who are from Asia, and a good number of Asian Americans in the local areas,” Nguyen said. “My wife and I decided to open the store for the community members who are interested in Asian cooking.”
Although Nguyen’s family is originally from Vietnam, Asian Market carries a variety of international food and ingredients, authentic to different countries.
“We aim at serving everyone,” Nguyen said. “Community members, regardless of backgrounds, can come and see the ingredients and what dishes they can make form them.”
Asian Market offers dry, packaged food, frozen seafood, instant meals and snacks. Nguyen said he brought in supplies two or three times a month from Atlanta and other hubs where there is a bigger multi-ethic population.
One important element in Asian Market, Nguyen said, is the fresh produce. Customers can get different types of vegetables such as bok choy, water crest, fresh basil, lemon grass, as well as spices and sauces to cook with at their own home.
“We often have non-Asian customers come in too,” he said. “We not only sell the ingredients but also tell them how to cook with them and how to incorporate the spices for an authentic dish. The customers love it.”
Nguyen said he hopes the community will be more aware of the store and what it has to offer. He wants to expand the store’s inventory once Asian Market attracts more regular customers.
“We plan to gradually carry more items,” he said. “In this early phase, I want to see how customers receive the store. Then, I intend to bring other products such as traditional Asian kitchen utensils, decorated ceramic table sets or tea sets.”
Nguyen said the big plan is to eventually be able to sell cooked food in a few months. He wants to offer deli-style take-out meal with traditional flavor at Asian Market.
“Coming soon we will have home-style cooking, authentic Vietnamese food for busy students or families to grab for lunch or dinner. There will be entrées as well as deserts.”
Nguyen said he has received positive feedback from customers at Asian Market. He is glad to provide another option for the local community to do grocery shopping, with a wide selection of oriental ingredients.