FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — An Asian supermarket in Frederick Maryland is celebrating 20 years in business this year.
The owners are focused on sharing their culture and creating community with others while living their American dream.
As the name suggests Asian Supermarket has it all.
“The most popular food (is) Thai, so we have a lot. And also we have some Indonesian food right there and we also have Chinese,” said Rachel Bur, owner of Asian Supermarket.
Bur and her husband Moe own the place. The mix of options has kept them in business since 2003.
“Thin soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, black soy sauce. We use it in a different way,” Bur said.
As immigrants from Burma, they didn’t have many options for Asian groceries in Frederick.
“It’s only like the one they have in Rockville and Silver Spring so we decided to open it here and we like it and a lot of people (are) enjoying (it) too,” Bur said.
Bur says they were the first Asian grocer in Frederick County. At that time customers drove from out of state to the store.
“Some Asians, they really miss their home so they come to visit us, just to get some, they don’t need a lot, but just to get some small items,” Bur said.
Other bigger supermarkets have since moved in but at Bur’s small shop, you get that personal touch.
“We love to introduce our customers with the new, different kinds of food products and also we give them the recipe,” Bur said.
Sometimes that means steering customers away from a fish sauce they may not like.
“When you open it the smell will be like boom,” Bur said. Then customers will say “Oh no, no, no I want the other one.”
With two decades in business, she’s seen customers grow up.
“They were this at elementary and now they’re coming back with their children. They got married and had children. Their children (are) about five and six years old,” Bur said.
This year Asian Supermarket is in a new location, but with expanded offerings including an in-store bubble tea cafe called Yaza’s Tea House.
Moe makes the drinks behind the counter.
“The taste of mango and the taste of the honeydew is like, that’s what everyone loves,” Bur said.
Bur says sharing her culture with strangers is important, even more so with her own family.
“Celebrating AAPI is very important for our next generation,” Bur said. “Even like my children, my own children, they were born here so they were raised with two different kinds of cultures.”
As Bur lives her American Dream, she has a message for other immigrants.
“If you’re willing to work hard, if you love to raise your children with a good education and a good community, you can do it,” Bur said.