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New Saigon International Market offers Asian flavors in Wilmington, NC

The New Saigon International Market at 831 Kerr Ave. the Wilmington area has been offering a wide variety of Asian and international products for more than 30 years. And while other markets and supermarket chains have opened in the area, Saigon Market is still a favorite among creative chefs and adventurous eaters.

Here you will find a selection of spices, cookware, sweets and more from Vietnam, China, Thailand, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Turkey, India, Jamaica, Mexico and the United States.

Vietnamese-born Lan Washington started the company in August 1994 to sell products like fish sauce and spices that she couldn’t find in the area. Over the years, the store has established itself in three different locations, expanding each time before opening in the same shopping center as Apple Annie’s Bake Shop, Pho Basil and Long Island Eatery.

Washington retired five years ago, but four Chinese business partners moved to the area to take her place and work with store managers and employees.

“We are a team, but also like a big family,” says Hanyu Ren, store manager.

Over the years, some of the items sold at the market, such as five-spice powder, miso paste and gochujang, have become popular enough to be found in larger supermarkets. But you are also likely to find a larger selection of these products here, while also discovering a new favorite among fresh produce, tropical fruits, live seafood, frozen foods and an extensive selection of sauces.

Ren said people especially enjoy the selection of Korean noodles, ice creams, Chinese tea, Vietnamese coffee, the homemade kimchi and the household items such as stir-fries, chopsticks and bamboo steamers.

New Saigon International Market is planning an anniversary celebration in July.

“Thank you for everyone’s support of our small local business over the past 30 years,” Ren said. “We will bring more happiness, convenience and good things to our beloved city.”

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Allison Ballard is the food and dining reporter at StarNews. You can reach her at[email protected].

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