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Building Cultural Understanding Through Dallas' Largest Asian Market

By Kelly Church

The Hong Kong Market Place is an Asian market providing Grand Prairie, TX with the largest oriental grocery supply in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. With two locations, one in Grand Prairie and one in Dallas, owner Matthew Loh says the majority of the customer base is of Asian decent, but there is a fast-growing population of other cultures embracing the authentic Asian market.

"We pride ourselves in providing quality products from the Far East: China, Vietnam, Korean, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, etc.," Loh says. "Our customers love our seafood department because of its freshness and our inventory of live lobsters, Dungeness crab, crawfish, catfish, tilapia."

The Hong Kong Market Place lets customers pick the fresh fish of their choice and the staff does all the dirty work: descaling, cleaning and cutting to the customer's preference. This type of personalization to their fish is just one way the market aims to welcome people from all backgrounds. Loh also tries to provide a wide variety of exotic sauces, fruits, snacks, teas, coffees, herbs, spices, alcoholic beverages and kitchenware that can't be found anywhere other than a true Asian market. In fact, there are more than 40,000 different items for sale at Hong Kong Market Place.

"We live in a diverse society where more and more people are open-minded and interested in trying new things," Loh says. "We also market to the mainstream and we take the initiative to welcome them."

Loh insists the market is a way of preserving Asian traditions in the United States. Each year, Hong Kong Market Place joins Asia Times Square, a nearby shopping center considered the "hub for eastern goods," during the Mid-Autumn Festival and the Lunar New Year. These two events are celebrated in order to promote culture and unity.

"In order for two people of different backgrounds to understand each other's culture and, more importantly, what they eat, both must engage," says Loh. "One person must knock on the door and the other must open the door. Hong Kong Market Place's door is wide open, knocking is not necessary."

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