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Viet-Wah Supermarket in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District closing after 41 years

The store will close at 7 p.m. on Friday, but their other location in Renton will remain open.

SEATTLE — After 41 years, one of Seattle’s largest Asian supermarkets, Viet-Wah is closing its doors. 

It's a major blow for the city's Little Saigon area in the Chinatown-International District.

"This store opened up when I was just two years old, so I grew up in this store, in this neighborhood. Yeah, it's like another home," said Leeching Tran, the Vice President of Viet-Wah Supermarket.

Tran said the closing of the store comes after a couple of rough years.

"Our landlord sold the property and it's being redeveloped, so I believe groundbreaking is next year,” Tran said. “So, we're on a bit of a timeline, but aside from that, the conditions in the neighborhood have been really terrible the last couple years; COVID hit, anti-Asian hate hit the neighborhood really hard."

The family-owned business was started 41 years ago by Tran’s father, a Vietnamese refugee who moved to the states for a brighter future. 

"He was with, you know, all the other Vietnamese refugees who came here without much and without any roots in the U.S., so he started Viet-Wah as a way to feed the community,” Tran said.

For more than four decades this community staple has given customers ingredients they couldn't find anywhere else. 

"Everybody has been shopping, all my friends, family, cousins, step relatives, they always shop here," said Ninah Trong, a longtime customer of Viet-Wah.

Tran said it has been an emotional week as Viet-Wah gets ready to close, and isn't sold on the idea of leaving the neighborhood forever.

"The CID is our home here and I think we want to be here. We don't want to have to shut down, so I think coming back just naturally makes sense," Tran said.

The store will close on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. 

There is another Viet-Wah location that will remain open in Renton, along Sunset Boulevard.

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