Loblaw’s Asian speciality grocery chain T&T Supermarket opened a 33,000-sq.-ft. store in Waterloo, Ont. earlier this month. About 90 minutes west of Toronto, the store is the chain’s 26th location.
Renowned for its authentic Asian food and culture, the new store offers more than 900 snacks and 200 varieties of sauces, Asian produce and cakes along with Asian health and beauty products.
T&T CEO Tina Lee said there was a lot of interest in bringing a T&T store to the community with many residents forced to drive to Mississauga for the nearest location. Waterloo is home to two universities, with significant Asian student communities.
“We’ve been so excited to be opening in Waterloo, looking for a site for over six years now,” Lee told the Waterloo Chronicle. "I’ve been getting letters honestly from residents of Waterloo and students from the University of Waterloo for years.”
According to the Chronicle, 500 people were lined up at the doors of the store the morning of its opening Dec. 5.
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The new store will be also be T&T’s first in Ontario to offer a seafood bar where customers can select from more than 40 types of fresh seafood in tanks, and have it prepared on the spot by an in-house cook, with the sauces of their choosing.
There’s also a wide selection of prepared meals including BBQ meats and dim sum available at a self-serve hot table, hot and spicy hot pot, and sushi bar.
“It’s hard to make a lot of Asian dishes at home, so we’ve taken that complexity out of our customer’s kitchens and into our own, and we’re making the grab and go, whether you want to take it out or dine in and eat,” Lee told the Chronicle.
Launched in 1993 in Vancouver, today T&T Supermarket operates stores in British Columbia (11), Alberta (5) and Ontario (10). The chain was bought by Loblaw in 2009.