Osaka Market opened in West Vancouver this week, bringing a taste of Asian culture to what has been a predominantly white suburb of an ethnically diverse city. The 37,000 square-foot high-end supermarket's king crab, lobster, geoduck and huge array of other fresh delicacies offer the deliciousness of diversity across the Burrard Inlet. The store's iconic Asian branding may help break an ethnic barrier, one that has been begging to be broken for many years, Cindy Lee, CEO and media director of the supermarket told VO.
CEO Cindy Lee began building her empire of Asian big-box stores in 1993 when she opened the first T&T at Metrotown mall in Burnaby. Osaka supermarket is its high-end sister company. When it opened on Wednesday in Park Royal South, it became the second Osaka supermarket in Canada.
Osaka features fresh food and is attempting to position itself as “a lunch destination with dim-sum specialties and healthy meals shoppers can grab on the go," Lee said.
This new massive Asian addition to West Vancouver will serve Lee’s main goal. “Multiculturalism," she said, "turns a shopping experience into an avenue for people of all cultures to celebrate one another.”
Osaka's Discover Asian Foods program provides “secret recipes and food facts not commonly found in mainstream supermarkets," Lee said.
Lee says she has noticed a trend away from dining out to preparing quality meals at home - meals prepared with help from gourmet grocery stores. Osaka intends to do just that, offering the North Shore high-quality products at low prices. The store also plans to ask for their customers' postal codes so that they can track where the most traffic comes from.
Could this be the beginning of a new era for West Vancouver?