Ahead of the grand opening, Kirin Asian Mart is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The store will soon offer fresh seafood, produce and a food court for dine-in or take-out.
TOLEDO, Ohio – Kirin Asian Mart is ringing in the new year by getting customers excited to shop at Toledo’s largest Asian supermarket.
While the family-owned store on Secor Road in west Toledo specializes in Asian food and produce, the owners aim for broad appeal. Toledo’s diversity is what drew store manager Vicky Wang’s family to Glass City to open a second supermarket about 20 years after opening one near Ann Arbor.
“I know it’s a more diverse area, so we’re not just focusing on the Asian population,” Wang said. “We also want to introduce different types of Asian food to the community.”
In this sense, Kirin Asian Mart has been created for success.
The store has a full kitchen and a dining area with a separate dining room. Wang compared the food options to Panda Express, which also offers takeout, but said prices will be cheaper when it’s ready for customers.
In addition to the hot food bar, Kirin Asian Mart will also have a sushi chef at the back of the store. Fittingly, the sushi bar will be next to the seafood section. The tanks will be stocked with lobster, fish and crab from California and New York, Wang said.
The spacious dining area and fresh ingredients open the shop to unlimited potential. Wang is considering offering cooking classes using the items sold in the store, taking the sharing of authentic Asian recipes and food a step further.
“Toledo already has a good idea of Asian food, so this is just to expose it even more,” Wang said. “People come in and say ‘oh, I don’t have to go to Ann Arbor anymore!'”
That’s an accurate assessment, as the store’s size is comparable to similar supermarkets in Ann Arbor and Cleveland’s AsiaTown.
Kirin Asian Mart has everything you need to create and serve a meal from start to finish, including kitchen equipment, utensils and cookware. Wang estimated that there will be at least 15,000 items for sale when the shelves are fully stocked.
Wang hopes to hold Kirin Asian Mart’s grand opening in three to four weeks. Supply issues delayed the store’s opening and Wang is still waiting for interior signage, which he said will be in English and Chinese.
The construction of the store took more than a year, with three to four months of interior design with an architect. Wang joked that the proximity of Home Depot was especially helpful.
Kirin Asian Mart fills a metaphorical void left behind when Lai Lai Asian Mart on Central Avenue closed its doors a couple of years ago. It literally fills the void depending on the place. The store occupies part of the former home of Food Town on Secor Road, a space that has been vacant since the grocer left the strip center 20 years ago.
It’s an area that has welcomed Big Lots and Bulk Beverage Co. in recent years, new growth across the street.
Kirin Asian Mart is open daily from 10am to 8pm at 3314 Secor Rd.
After the grand opening, opening hours will be extended from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wang said he was not yet sure when the grand opening will be but said announcements and updates will be made on Kirin Asian Mart’s Facebook page.
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