The hugely popular Filipino-American chain, Seafood City Supermarket, opened in Calgary Feb. 20.
Seafood City marketing coordinator J.P. Sumbillo explains the grocery store is a one stop shop for Filipinos and they now have a “taste of home” at Seafood City.
Calgarian Tina Macapili agrees that having a Filipino store is a game changer for immigrants in Calgary.
“Usually we shop in the Chinese stores but it’s quite different when you have a place to shop that is your own,” Macapili says.
The Pomona-based grocery chain operates 28 stores across the United States including stores in California, Nevada, Illinois, Hawai’i and Washington.
Calgary is Seafood City’s 31st store and their third Canadian location after Mississauga and Winnipeg.
Last November, the Seafood City opening in Winnipeg drew a lineup of hundreds in -30 weather, with some waiting as early as 4 a.m. for the doors to open.
Vice president of Marketing, Mildred Smith, explains that the chain chooses to operate in cities where the most Filipino migrants are. Moreover, Smith says that Seafood City is all about Bayanihan and community.
“Our mission is to bring what most Filipino immigrants miss from home,” Smith says.
The supermarket carries popular brands, hard to find goods, Filipino skin products, fresh produce, as well as locally sourced and internationally imported ingredients.
Smith explains that the supermarket sells local where possible but will purchase high-quality items abroad when it is affordable for customers. Some of these ingredients include bangus from Pangasinan and fish from Hawai’i.
The seafood area is especially a point of pride for the company.
“You will not smell the seafood,” Smith says. “We are very proud of our cleanliness.”
Additionally, you can purchase a fish from the supermarket, and they will clean and fry your fish at 50 cents per pound.
Unlike other supermarkets, Seafood City also has a Filipino food court and a community room directly inside of the store.
The food court includes their aptly named flagship restaurants: Grill City, Noodle Street and Crispy Town, which serve the supermarket’s popular Filipino barbeque, pancit, dim sum, and all of the fried food you wish you could make at home like crispy pata, chicharon bulaklak and chicken skin.
Tucked in the corner beside the restaurants is the community room which can be rented for free provided that all of the food is purchased from Seafood City.
Smith says that like other locations, the Calgary Seafood City will eventually have free community events such as bingo, singing contests and more.
Visit Seafood City Supermarket at 3320 Sunridge Way NE to check out everything this Filipino grocery store has to offer.