AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – The first Asian supermarket in the Buffalo area officially opened Thursday, offering a wide variety of Asian foods, teas and even non-grocery merchandise, such as furniture, lamps, and novelties.
Owner Rockey Ren’s Asia Food Market was built inside a former Walmart on Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst, and it is Ren’s third Asian supermarket in Upstate New York, after opening stores in Rochester and Syracuse.
Before the store opened shortly after noon, there was a long line of customers waiting patiently for the chance to get a taste of home, and Ren’s new store caters to a variety of Asian cultures, although primarily Chinese.
The fresh seafood and fish tanks seemed to be the most popular area of the market where customers can pick out their own live bass, and live eel, as they swim around in their own water tanks.
How fresh is the seafood? Ren said it is shipped 4 times a week from one of the most famous seafood wholesalers in the world, “It comes from the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx. That is the biggest market over there.”
In case you are wondering how you serve eel? Rocky Ren said you can serve it a few ways, “They can stir fry or you can make soup. They make a fillet for the eel,” and it is often the main ingredient in sushi.
Ren says it took 5 years of surveying, planning, and remodeling to open the Asian Market in Amherst, and he is already looking to expand.
The new store only occupies half of the former Walmart, and Ren is working on plans to build a bakery and food court for the other half.