The History of Seafood City
They say home is where the heart is. Nobody knows this better than the Filipino-Americans.
In the United States, the Filipino immigrant story is a vibrant one. But it is a story that is not without its challenges. For those who grew up in the Philippines, the biggest obstacle has always been homesickness. For the Filipino born and raised in the US, it is reconciling geography with cultural heritage.
Like all immigrants, the Filipinos brought with them to America the traditions and cultures of their homelands. That’s why, shopping at mainstream grocery stores and supermarkets left them frustrated and unsatisfied. Filipino Americans struggled to find food ingredients and products they missed from the homeland. They longed for familiar brands to connect them to the lifestyles they’ve grown accustomed to in the Philippines.
Seafood City provided the answer to their needs. In 1989, the first Seafood City Supermarket opened in National City, San Diego, California offering quality and authentic Filipino specialties at the most affordable prices. For the first time ever, there was a grocery store that Filipino-Americans could wander into and find exactly what they wanted. The response of the Fil-Am community was overwhelming! This quickly led to more stores opening all over California, followed by stores in Nevada, Washington State, Hawaii and Chicago.
True to their vision, Seafood City eventually became not just a supermarket but a hub, a “town hall” for Filipino- Americans; a place where they could gather and truly feel at home. To provide their customers the essentials that their lifestyles needed, Seafood City’s locations included iconic Filipino brands like Jollibee, Red Ribbon, Chowking, Philippine National Bank, The Filipino Channel (TFC), Atlas Remittance and other brands popular to Filipinos anywhere in the world.
In answer to the intense clamor of countless Filipinos to open stores in Canada, Seafood City established its first Canadian store in Mississauga in 2017. Tens of thousands of excited customers lined up to shop at the new store, prompting local officials and news agencies to check out Seafood City to discover for themselves what the crowds are all about. Just like in the US, Filipinos in Canada soon found themselves a hub which feels very much like home.
Canada’s face of immigration has changed from predominantly European to predominantly Asian, with Filipinos making up a significant number of these. And these Filipino Canadians have long been craving for well-loved and much-missed products from the Philippines. No wonder, the community support for Seafood City was so great, prompting more store openings one after the other. A Winnipeg store was opened last November 2019 and another store followed in Calgary last February 2020. Within a few months, two more Canadian stores are slated to open in Edmonton and Scarborough.
Seafood City Supermarket has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1989 to establishing itself as the premier Filipino supermarket chain in North America, with 31 stores and 2 more in the very near future.
But it has grown into something more than that. It has become not just a supermarket but a grocerant, blending the grocery and restaurant concepts. Answering the consumer need for high quality, ready-to-eat foods, and ready-to-heat meals. Seafood City has evolved from a grocery to a grocerant. We have opened up fast food restaurants in our stores: Grill City, Noodle Street and Crispy Town and soon- Baker’s Avenue. This fast-growing side of our business has made Seafood City a fast food destination for countless consumers who are craving for authentic traditional Filipino dishes merged with a fusion of international cuisine.
Now, the words “Seafood City” are spoken of among Filipinos in North America in the same breath as words such as “ home” and “community”. It has spread “True Filipino Goodness” in all the communities it is serving. Above all, the most meaningful reason that people come to Seafood City is simply that: it’s good to be home.
MORE ABOUT US
Where does great value come from?
We buy 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.
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.