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.
In the 1960s, the first wave of Filipinos came to America. With their arrival began the struggle to find products that were sariling atin, meaning “truly ours”.
Back then, Filipino-Americans would wander into Asian grocery stores looking for anything familiar – bagoong, chicharon, pansit bihon, or tuyo. They’d leave having settled for similar versions. Indonesian acar in place of atchara, Malaysian singgang instead of sinigang, Chinese rice cakes standing in for bibingka.
While these delicacies from our Asian neighbors provided some semblance of Filipino flavors, close to home just wasn’t close enough. This soon changed.
In 1989, the first Seafood City Supermarket opened in National City, CA. For the first time ever, there was an Asian grocery that Filipino-Americans could wander into and find exactly what they wanted.
But Seafood City Supermarket’s vision went beyond providing quality and authentic Filipino specialties at the most affordable prices. Inevitably, later became a “town hall” for Filipinos Americans, to be a place where they could gather and truly feel at home.
The Filipino-American community’s over- whelming support for the first Seafood City Supermarket in San Diego, led to more stores openings in all over California.
Today, Seafood City Supermarket has stores in California, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii and soon in Chicago and Canada. They truly determined on spreading their flagship philosophy of “True Filipino Goodness” to even more states soon.
Seafood City Supermarket has become a cultural icon to both Filipinos here and abroad. To Filipino-American households, the supermarket has become part of the weekly schedule, a regular stop for groceries and flavorful Pinoy meals. To their relatives in the Philippines, the brand name is a familiar one, often heard about from lolos and lolas talking about their lives in the US during visits home.
To the local American community, Seafood City Supermarket is known as a company that provides opportunities to Filipino-Americans and other communities alike. And through its prominent work with various non-profit groups and charities, Seafood City Supermarket also proves that the value of kawanggawa is indelible to the Filipino wherever he may be.
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. But it has grown into something more than that.
Now, the words “Seafood City” are spoken of among Filipino-Americans in the same breath as words such as “community”. Above all, the most meaningful reason that people come to Seafood City is simply that: it’s good to be home.