Hmart, the popular, upscale Korean market, has finally hit Northern California. The 35-year-old chain started in New York, and has slowly spread across the country. Now it’s hit the South Bay, with a bigger expansion planned for the area, including locations in San Francisco and Oakland in the next few years.
In addition to fresh meat, fish, poultry, and produce, the West San Jose (1179 S. De Anza Blvd.) market boasts a food court that includes Korean tofu house, as well as Chinese and Japanese dishes. The 28,000-square-foot market is chock full of high-quality pantry items, as well as ready-to-serve dishes.
Hmart president and COO William Choi told Mercury News that part of the reason for opening in San Jose was that it “is a very affluent area,” with at least 100,000 Asian-Americans living within a one-mile radius of the store. Yesterday’s grand opening drew hundreds of shoppers from the area, many of whom had been eagerly anticipating its opening for over a year.
The second Hmart location will be even larger at 43,000-square-feet, and take over a former grocery in North San Jose, with a planned opening in late summer.
San Jose and the South Bay already possess several popular Asian markets, including 99 Ranch and Japanese market Mitsuwa. Hmart operates 10 stores in California right now, including the just-opened location. “We tend to be regional draws,” Choi told Mercury News, “even from 20 to 30 miles away.”
Hmart is now open seven days a week from 8 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Hmart Opens First Norcal Location, Plans South Bay Expansion [Mercury News]