STERLING, Virginia — On May 26, Lotte Plaza Market, a leading Asian supermarket chain, held its grand opening. The highly-anticipated event featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, special discounts, giveaways, photo booths, and more. The new store, which is located at 30 Pidgeon Hill Drive, will be the sixth Lotte Plaza Market in the state — joining existing stores in nearby Ashburn, Herndon, Annandale, Centreville, and Chantilly.
“We want to be the go-to market for everybody, not just the Asian population,” said Alvin Lee, owner of Lotte Plaza Market, adding, “Look at the diversity of [our buyers]. It’s just not just Asian people coming in; we want people of every race and every ethnic background to come and enjoy our store.”
The Sterling branch marks the 15th addition to the nationwide chain, but Lotte Plaza Market has plans for continued growth and expansion. The company aims to bring its unique shopping experience to even more communities, with upcoming store openings in Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, FL, and Richmond, VA.
Quality products from all over the world
“What customers want is a different environment; they want a good shopping experience that is maybe a little bit fun and different. Shoppers want different things and that’s what we offer,” said Lee, adding, “You could go to your local Chinese store and get the staple things, and we have that as well. But sometimes you want something different, too, and our store gives them an opportunity to broaden their palettes globally.”
“That’s what America is. You don’t come to America because you’re Korean and only eat Korean food. You come here to learn about and enjoy other cultures as well.”
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Boasting over 47,000 square feet of space, the Sterling location will offer a wide variety of Asian groceries and produce, as well as a full-service deli, bakery, and meat and seafood department. The store will also feature a food hall with a variety of Asian-inspired dining options, including boba tea, dim sum, and more.
‘We are very proud of our store’
From the exotic spices of India to the delicate flavors of Japan, the Sterling store showcases a wide selection of international foods and ingredients. With its extensive range of fresh produce, spices, meats, and specialty products, Lotte Plaza Market hopes to be a one-stop shopping destination for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
“We want to showcase products from Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, etc, so that customers have a choice in what they eat, and also how they eat it. And we want to deliver on those values and high quality ingredients,” said Lee.
“Generally speaking, we are just very proud of our store, and I hope Sterling loves us — and people from all different walks of life can come and enjoy our store.”
The store’s meticulously designed layout allows customers to navigate through a world of tantalizing aromas and vibrant display, says Lee. Each aisle offers a unique experience, with neatly organized shelves housing products sourced from various corners of the globe. The store’s friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to assist to ensure that every customer’s shopping experience is enjoyable, easy, and informative.
“We’ve increased our frozen capacity by 30 percent so that we can cater to multiple different customer bases,” said Lee, adding, “We also spend a lot of money and engineering on the lightning in the store, and the floor itself is eco-friendly — we don’t use chemicals to clean our floors; we only use water and soap.”
‘A store for everyone’
“We want our store to cater to everyone, not just one ethnicity. The message I’ve been trying to tell everyone is: ‘If you go to a Chinese store, it feels very Chinese; if you go to a Korean store, it feels very Korean, and that’s not a bad thing.’ But we wanted to do something different,” said Lee.
Lotte Plaza Market not only offers a vast selection of international products but also serves as a cultural hub within the community. From featuring a live bluefin tuna demonstration to a photo booth for live picture ops, customers will have the chance to expand their culinary horizons and explore the rich tapestry of different flavor profiles and cuisines.
“What we wanted to do is say, ‘Hey if you’re from the Middle East, and you come to our store, we want you to feel like this is your store and feel comfortable.’ Whether you’re Chinese, Filipino, or Vietnamese, we want you to feel like there’s something for you that you can purchase here.”
“We’re not an Asian American supermarket, we are an American Asian supermarket. And we want everyone to feel comfortable. That’s a powerful message.”
Lotte Plaza Market’s Sterling location will continue holding special events during its opening month, including: 2x points for Lotte Plus members now through June 31st, a photo booth, select giveaways, and more.
For more information regarding Lotte Plaza Market, please visit its official website here.
Vision Times reporter Xiao Min contributed to this report.