LIMA — If you ever woke up in the middle of the night craving a malanga or a yama, but had nowhere to get it, you are now in luck.
Apichat Phongtoop, 35, and his wife, Arisara Sosut, 29, opened the Lima Asia Grocery Store on Nov. 25.
“We didn’t have any Asian stores in Lima or anywhere in the area,” Phongtoop said. “If people living in Lima wanted to get Asian groceries, you had to go out of state.”
Phongtoop and his wife decided to open the ethnic food store to better serve the Asian population in the area. Phongtoop and his wife are from Thailand, however they plan to specialize in several areas offering different styles of Asian food, including Thai, Philippine, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Caribbean foods. Phongtoop said that while most Asian favorite foods are comparable, they do somewhat differ.
“We want to offer many different styles so different Asian cultures can find what they want,” Phongtoop said.
The Asian diet is vegetable-laden, and the store will offer all Asian favorites, including water chestnuts, malangas, papayas and yamas. The store also offers many styles of different mushrooms, which are also popular in the Asian diet.
Many styles of sauces are also available, including soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and hot sauces. Phongtoop said the style of sauces can vary among Asian cultures.
Fish and seafood are also popular in the Asian diet and plenty of variety is available at the store. Phongtoop said just frozen varieties are available but that the store eventually plans to carry fresh fish and seafood items as they establish clientele.
Noodles and rice are also plentiful at the Asian Grocery Store. Phongtoop said items such as noodles and rice are popular in Asian culture because of shelf life.
“Refrigeration is a rare privilege in Asian countries,” Phongtoop said. “You have to be very rich because it is very expensive. So they have to have foods that can be stored for a longer period of time.”
Rice varieties include Jasmine, brown, sweet and Japanese.
The store also offers bulk food items for local restaurants. They also plan to carry organic foods.
“We just want to offer a variety for the different types of Asian markets,” Phongtoop said.
The store is open seven days a week and is opening daily at 9:30 p.m. Phongtoop said they have not yet established daily hours and are waiting to see traffic before doing so. The store is lcoates at 2411 Shawnee Road, Suite E, and can be reached at 567-371-3849.