It would come as no surprise to many that I like shopping at Asian supermarkets. Love them actually. Yesterday one of my favorite stores, Mekong Supermarket had the grand opening of their new sister store, the AZ International Marketplace. Yay!
I had heard about it weeks before hand from flyers at Mekong and checked out the Facebook page for the new store. It was like every type of ethic grocery store combined into one ultimate super store. Yep, I was definitely going.
They were giving out free gift certificates for the first 500 people, so of course I tried to get there super early. Like 6 am early. There was no one there except for a nice elderly woman whom I didn’t see at first because she had gone to find a restroom.
I got to see what was left of the sunrise over the parking lot. The place was decorated with little flags of several different countries.
I was there to watch them set up the balloon arch in front of the doorway.
And to watch them later set up for the opening ceremony, I even got to help them set up the table cloth.
On the table here is a plate of exactly 10 pieces of fruit, an urn full of rice, a plate of pork buns, and several large candles and torches to be lit up during the ceremony.
Here they have the candles going. Behind the table you can see the head of the whole roasted pig, I spared you the view of the rest of it.
I was the second person in the store, and by the time I got my gift certificate and my raffle tickets the fireworks display was over. :(
I did of course get to see the dragon dance inside the store with drums to accompany them.
Once inside, I didn’t really get anymore photos because I was too busy squealing at the cute stuff and all the great deals. Here the sale flyer. At the top it says you get 10% everything that isn’t already on sale, I think that’s what brought most people in to the store.
Funny thing is that Mekong Supermarket had the same deal for their grand opening, but never actually got rid of it. Even now, years later you still get 10% normal priced items. So I’m hoping since this is the sister store, that they will do the same thing.
We were there all day, not entirely by choice though. The sales and such brought lots of people in and sent them straight to the registers to check out with fully filled shopping carts. This lead to hour plus waiting times just to check out. When I got home all I wanted to do was sleep.
Well, sleep and gush over what I bought, want to see?
First up is this cute wastebasket. It was advertised as $3.58, and I somehow couldn’t resist something so adorable and actually useful.
The lid is shaped like a bear’s head but the rest has this pretty flower design that kind of clashes with the bear. I’d be tempted to just use it without the bear lid, but I think it’s more useful with a lid. Plus it is somewhat amusing to me.
I found this cute set of plastic drawers with the office supplies, normal price is about $5. They are probably meant for things like pens and stuff, but I could easily use them for storing accessories or craft supplies. Like the craft supplies I still need to sort through. :|
What really sold me on this was the soft pink color and cute plastic bow shaped drawer pulls. They also come in other pretty colors too. :)
Speaking of cute pink things, I also got this pink bento box. They had square-ish shaped ones like this and round ones in pink, blue, or green on sale for $2.99.
There is a third piece inside that comes out to form two separate compartments for food, and yes it does come with a spoon. This was part of a serious discussion I had with another shopper who was purchasing one as well.
Another serious discussion was where I found this adorable pink cup. It was actually with the bathroom accessories. I think it’s intended to use when brushing your teeth to rinse and maybe to keep your toothbrush afterwards.
It was about $1.50 regular price and it says “Dream, Love makes the world go round”. I love it when cute things from Asian countries have little English phrases on them like that, especially when the English isn’t very well translated.
The most useful pink item I got? A hanging laundry drying rack thing. I already had three of these and use them almost constantly.
Air drying is better for clothes and for the wallet as well as the environment. Plus you can hang a surprising variety of items on these things. Sock, undies, bras, tank tops, knit shorts, t-shirts, small kids stuff, etc. Naturally when hanging larger items you need to use more than one clip.
Anyway, this rack was about $2.50 normal price and came in other shapes as well.
What really sold me on this one was the cute heart shaped clips. I’ve had problems in the past with these racks with the clips breaking off, but still being useful as clips for household stuff. So I think having cute sturdy looking clips is a good thing to look for with drying racks.
And the cute pink parade ends with this adorable comb. They had several different colors and patterns, all of them were 89 cents each normal price.
I’m not sure if I actually want to use it for my hair or just hang it on the wall and admire it. At the very least, I want to save the packaging to decorate things. Decoupage anyone?
Since this place is a grocery store, I had to actually buy something to eat. So I bought…
I love them, they taste really good if you season them and dump them in pasta dishes, stir-fries, etc. And I’ve found that it’s actually cheaper and easier to buy them canned instead of fresh. You get more than twice as many eggs for about the same price and they are already hard-boiled and peeled for you.
This is one of my favorite brands of canned quail eggs (mostly because of price, about $2.20), but the last few times I went to Mekong Supermarket they were sold out. Imagine how happy I was when I found them at AZ International Marketplace. So I immediately grabbed two cans and wandered off.
Along with the great assortment of foods to buy, there were plenty of samples available, like these biscuits that were handed out at the door on the way out. I also got to sample various cheeses, seasoned fruit, and got little bags of Takis chips. I would have gotten a picture of those too, but I ate them all.
While I was there I noticed a display for sunglasses, specifically I noticed the 40% off sign for the sunglasses. I really had been in desperate need for a new pair (Summer in Arizona, enough said), so why not take a peek.
The normal price for this pair was about $10 with many other pairs for about $8. With the sale I only paid $7, not too bad I think.
The last thing I got were these fans. They are similar to a fan I bought at SAS last summer that was a godsend. They were the same price too, about $1.99 normal price and tons to choose from. The white one is for me, and I have other ideas for the other two.
These fans, like much of what I brought are made in China. I noticed and found it rather interesting that on the red fan this fact was incorporated into the design.
Overall, I had a great though exhausting time, but the fun isn’t over yet. If you couldn’t make the grand opening, this Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24th, AZ International Marketplace will continue their celebration from noon to 5 pm. They will have a BBQ and music, bounce house, raffles, etc. and of course sales.
So another chance to enjoy this new store. And if you aren’t local, why not check out what you have in your area. Got any great ethic grocery stores or restaurants you love? Please share. :)