South Shore Asian Mart Opens in Bridgewater



(Illustration: Jessie McLaughlin)

When Mona Crisostomo immigrated to Canada from the Philippines four years ago, she scoured the grocery aisles in Bridgewater for flavours of home but found few options.

As a full-time registered nurse (RN), Mona met fellow RNs and healthcare workers who also recently immigrated from Southeast Asia.

They would travel to Halifax to stock up on food essentials, but rising gas prices rendered this unaffordable.

Eventually, the group of six friends – Mona, Ken, Ruster, Erika, Lehcel and Hazelle – who work in long-term care in Bridgewater and Harbour View Haven in Lunenburg, decided to launch a business venture together.

And thus, the South Shore Asian Mart was born.

Located at 430 King Street next to KO’s Restaurant in Bridgewater, the South Shore Asian Mart, open daily, offers specialty food from the Philippines, India, and throughout Asia.

Mona says they would like to expand their offerings to make it a comprehensive Asian mart with aisles labeled with imports from countries such as Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and more.

Finding suppliers is the biggest hurdle, though she said they are building up a good list from Toronto and Halifax. After opening, they were delighted to learn that demand exceeded supply, meaning they could evolve their store to meet the community’s needs.

“We want to create an accessible and welcoming place for Asian immigrants,” Mona says. “And we also want to offer this food to locals who have been very welcoming and want to learn more about our cuisine.”

Mona and her partners have been posting recipes on the store’s Facebook page, and helping customers such as Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell, who came for the grand opening on August 12th, find the perfect treat to please their palates.

My taste buds are certainly satisfied after trying the Adobo cracker nuts and some delicious Monggo (red bean) bread supplied by Tinápe in Bedford and I’m looking forward to trying one of the recipes next. The store is a needed addition to a more vibrant main street in Bridgewater and a growing multicultural community on the South Shore.


Comments

One response to “South Shore Asian Mart Opens in Bridgewater”

  1. Celia Klemenz

    I am not Asian but love foods from Asia, Philippines and India and am very excited that you have opened this shop and are featured in The Barnacle. We will be stopping by soon to meet and purchase!

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