Food Bazaar is a small supermarket chain in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. So what is a small supermarket chain doing on a website devoted to international travel? Food Bazaar carries products that immigrants are familiar with from their native countries. These days, many supermarkets have a hispanic or asian foods aisle, but Food Bazaar’s ethnic foods can be found in every aisle of the store.
They promote themselves with slogans such as, “Your Home Away From Home” and “Tu Tierra, Tu Barrio, Tu Hogar” (Your Country, Your Neighborhood, Your Home).
Some of the chain’s supermarkets are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Before you ask who would go shopping in the earliest hours of the morning, we confess. After returning home one year from Venezuela, we put the kids to bed and headed out to buy what we would need for that day. The cashier, a young Mexican woman, told us she worked overnight, returned home to prepare breakfast for her family, take her children to school, and return home to get some sleep.
As shown in the photo above, cheeses from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Ecuador.
Food Bazaar has 24 locations and each one carries a products that reflect the immigrants living in the immediate area. With the majority of their products being for hispanic immigrants, you might think the owners of this chain were hispanic, too. However, this chain of supermarkets with a wholly original business model is owned and run by Korean immigrants.
The chain’s founder, Francis An, was born in South Korea and went to live in Argentina. He embraced the culture and lived there for many years. Later, he moved to New York and became frustrated that he couldn’t prepare the Argentine dishes he loved so much. Francis An opened his first supermarket in Queens, New York in 1988. The company’s name, Bogopa, is a Korean word that means, Yearning for you.