MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Almost two years ago, a suspected arsonist burned a Modesto strip mall down to the ground, taking five businesses with it.
One of those business was the Asian Market, which had been at the location for 33 years. It held its grand reopening Friday.
Honoring their heritage, dragon performers danced down the aisles.
“They come in and bless the store, and they chase out the bad spirits,” said Tong Vuong.
Vuong watched as his store and four others burned down in June of 2019. His family’s market was one of the city’s only Asian grocery stores.
Although the store was lost, the fire only fueled his determination to rebuild.
“We finally got it done and I’m so happy,” Vuong said. “Words can’t even explain how happy I am about it.”
Vuong says while it was hard to rebuild during a pandemic, seeing people roam the aisles of the Asian Market once again was a blessing.
“You know, it’s a great feeling to see, you know, all the faces from the old location, the old store, and a lot of the customers are more like friends and family with us than rather than just plain, regular customers,” Vuong said.
The new location is triple the size of the original store and allows them to carry a wider variety of products from even more counties.
“From Japanese to Korean to Thai, Laos, Vietnamese, Indonesian products. Most stores don’t carry Indonesian products, you know, and then now we started carrying Indian products too,” Vuong said.
For Vuong, the new locations means a fresh start and the hope to continue to serve his community for generations to come.
“I’m looking forward to helping out the community, putting food in everybody’s stomach, you know. Just, it feels good to bring customers stuff that they can’t get anywhere else,” Vuong told FOX40.
The new Asian Market is located at 2425 McHenry Ave. in Modesto, just 3 miles from the old Carver Road location.
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