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 one that is not without its challenges. For those who grew up in the Philippines, the biggest one has always been homesickness. For the Filipino born and raised in the US, it is reconciling geography with cultural heritage.
The Filipinos brought with them to America the traditions and cultures of their homeland. 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 have been used to. They longed for familiar brands to connect them to the lifestyles they’ve grown accustomed to.
Seafood City knew and understood this longing and brought them back ‘home’.
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 where the Filipino-Americans could go to find exactly what they want as well as connect, re-connect, bond, and celebrate ‘true Filipino goodness’. Seafood City’s locations also 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.
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. And in answer to the 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’, a ‘town hall’, a ‘home away from home.
Canada’s face of immigration has changed from predominantly European to predominantly Asian, with Filipinos making up a significant part of it. 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. It now has 32 store locations in Canada, Hawaii, Seattle, Washington, Northern California, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
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, and providing the consumer high quality ready-to-eat food, and ready-to-heat meals. It has opened up fast food restaurants in its stores: Grill City, Noodle Street, Crispy Town, and soon, Baker’s Avenue. This said Avenue was opened in Winnipeg in January last year and currently, and soon to open in Scarborough, Calgary, and Edmonton.
This fast-growing side of the business has made Seafood City a fast food destination for authentic, traditional Filipino dishes merged with a fusion of international cuisine.
Now, the words ‘Seafood City’ have become synonymous with ‘home’, ‘community’. And nowhere is true Filipino goodness better celebrated than here.
Well, certainly feels good to be home.