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A Filipino grocery chain is coming to Canada

America's Seafood City Supermarket aims for “True Filipino goodness”

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Seafood City Supermarket, a California-based grocer that caters to Filipinos and Asians, is setting up shop in the Toronto area.

The company’s first store will be at the Heartland Town Centre, a Mississauga, Ont. power centre.

An opening date has not yet been set, but Seafood City aims to open late this year or early in 2017, Dan Hyde, senior manager of retail division at Orlando Corp., which owns the mall, said.

Founded in San Diego in 1989, Seafood City specializes in Filipino food and has 23 U.S. locations, mostly in California, as well as in Nevada, Washington and Hawaii and, soon, Chicago.

Hyde says the Mississauga store will be about 36,000 sq. ft. and will be located near Boyer Blvd. in an area of the power centre that is under redevelopment.

The Heartland centre has about 2.5 million sq. ft. of big-box retail space with more than 180 stores, including a Loblaws and Walmart.

“The addition of Seafood City will mean more of our customer base will be able to find specific food items that have not been available in the centre until this time,” Hyde said.

Seafood City, whose motto is “True Filipino goodness,” describes itself as the premier Filipino supermarket chain in North America.

The grocer could not be reached for comment. But according to the company’s website, Seafood City opened to give Filipinos products from home, such as bagoong, chicharon, pansit bihon and tuyo.

“To Filipino-American households, the supermarket has become part of the weekly schedule, a regular stop for groceries and flavorful Pinoy meals,” it states.

The grocer says it buys “direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you. If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else. We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices.”

It adds that “most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices… so we don’t do it. We keep our costs low– because every penny we save is a penny you save. It’s not complicated. We just focus on what matters–great food + great prices = Value.”

As its name suggests, Seafood City has a large fresh fish department that include not only the usual variety of salmon, trout or tilapia, but a variety of smaller fish, like pompano, smelt, minnow and sardines.

The stores also feature a “Grill City” grill counter that offers “only choice cuts of meat, with our sweet garlicky sauce, skewered and grilled to perfection. The Filipino style barbecue you’re longing for.”

Some U.S. locations also feature in-store concessions for Filipino businesses ranging from travel agencies to immigration offices.

Seafood City has a loyalty program, called Suki Advantage, and runs the Young Filipino-American Achievers program to recognize the accomplishments of American Filipinos in a variety of fields.

There are 662,000 Filipino Canadians, according to the 2011 Census. About half of those live in the Greater Toronto Area with an estimated 39,800 Filipinos living in Mississauga.

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