A new grocery store opening typically attracts only modest attention.
But, the grand opening celebration of the "Shun Fat" ("SF", on the sign) Supermarket, officially 5253 S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses at Foster Road, on Friday morning, June 14, actually drew a crowd of hundreds.
At daybreak, eager shoppers were already lining up, each pushing one of the market's emerald green shopping carts, waiting their turn to enter the new store, which is situated in part of a former Fred Meyer Store.
According to the owner, Hieu Tran, he opened his first grocery store in 1993 to serve the Chinese community of Monterey Park, California, in east Los Angeles, and has since expanded to 14 stores – this being his first one in Oregon.
Parking was scarce in the lot, a large section of which had been cordoned off for the grand opening celebration – including an area set aside for fireworks, which was being carefully guarded by a Portland Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief.
Most of the growing crowd calmly waited for the program to begin, but one eager shopper dashed under the barrier tape. Security officers kept others from following her, and safely returned the lady back behind the line.
In front of the store, a food offering table – a Buddhist tradition – was reverently set up, complete with incense, roasted pigs, fruits, and vegetables.
"On behalf of our Chairman, Mr. Hieu Tran, this is our proudest moment – to introduce to you to this new supermarket, here in Southeaast Portland," exclaimed "SF Supermarket" Manager Portland Huy Trieu, to begin the opening celebration. "This is the result of hard work – and coordination from everyone present – [that you will] see today when you enter our store; we hope you will love and patronize our store!
"We are providing more variety of healthy and nutritious food, because we believe that food brings people together," Trieu went on. "The supermarket is more than a grocery store – it is a cultural experience; so, please accept our sincere appreciation for welcoming 'SF Supermarket'."
This former Fred Meyer building occupies a square block and is now named "Emmert International Marketplace". It will also contain other smaller businesses, in addition to the SF Supermarket, said owner Terry Emmert.
"This has been a great project, and we're very pleased to be working with SF Supermarket," Emmert told the crowd. "Wait till you see inside; you're going to be impressed. We want this to be the hub of our community, so that this becomes the new 'Boardwalk' of Portland."
Escorted off the stage, Emmert held a burning road flare and lit the end of a string of 10,000 firecrackers. Guests held their ears; the explosions went off safely, but were deafening.
In a surprisingly orderly fashion, the hundreds of new customers then filed into the store – where some busily basketed merchandise, while others just looked around in awe at the products displayed for sale.
If you'd like to know more, there's a website – www.shunfatsupermarket.com/sf-supermarket-portlandMeantime, nearby full-service Fred Meyer stores remain open at S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard at Chavez (formerly 39th), and at S.E. 82nd at Johnson Creek Boulevard.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)