New supermarket offers broad range of exotic foods

Photo courtesy of Kayla Parker

South Bronxites now have a new place to buy groceries with an international selection at the largest grocery store in the entire borough.

Bronx Terminal Market located at 610 Exterior Street welcomed the grocery store giant, Food Bazaar on the fourth level of the shopping complex last Thursday, February 6.

Food Bazaar celebrated its fifth location in the Bronx and is now has the largest supermarket in the borough sitting at a massive 83,000 square feet.

The store currently employs around 200 people, according to Food Bazaar director of Marketing and Development of Bogopa Service Corp. Suzanne Kuczun.

According to a Food Bazaar representative, the store offers over 100,000 different items including international foods, exotic and organic fruits and vegetables, a large assortment of vegetarian/vegan options and also hosts a gigantic seafood counter, meat/deli department, frozen food section and dairy department.

For true meat connoisseurs, the store also is home to the first aged beef case in the Bronx.

Another feature is its daily baked bread.

The store is occuping the space Toys ‘R Us vacated.

According to the same Food Bazaar representative, the store will soon be opening a nearby 15,000 square foot food hall called the ‘Boogie Down Food Hall.’

This market will feature more than a dozen vendors from the Bronx and outer boroughs. Kuczun said the food hall is expected to open between April and May.

“The food hall will serve as a venue for people to gather and enjoy great food in a dynamic atmosphere.

“We are really excited to provide the community with this beautiful store and look forward to serving the surrounding neighborhoods for many more years to come,” said Spencer An, president of Bogopa Service Corp./Food Bazaar Supermarket.

Food Bazaar’s success is a true tale of pursuing the ‘American Dream.’ Francis An, founding president, originally from Korea, spent several years of his early life living in Argentina before migrating to New York City.

Upon his arrival, he realized most grocery stores did not cater to the needs of minorities or immigrants. He vividly remembered the difficulty he encountered trying to find the ingredients he needed to make his beloved Argentinian dishes.

As a result, in 1988 he opened his first supermarket in Queens; others soon followed. A decade later he created ‘Bogopa Service Corp.” Bogopa, in Korean means ‘Yearning for You.’ He chose the name to pay homage to the immigrants and their very unique needs who wanted to preserve their cultural identity.

Community Board 4 district manager Paul Philips said the supermarket is a great addition to the neighborhood and he was happy to see the empty storefront filled with a business the community would actually see an asset.

He emphasized the importance of the store’s large selection of produce because that’s a true commodity otherwise overlooked in the neighborhood.

“I attended the grand opening, which was busy,” Philips said. “I came back Saturday and it was still busy, so I’ll take that as a good sign.”

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