I don’t know if it’s odd, but some of my best memories as a kid was going to the Japanese market every Sunday after going to the temple.
The market is called Pacific Mercantile or what I just call “Pacific.”
There was another store named Granada? on the other end of the block but unfortunately that place is long gone. Luckily Pacific is still here, and I’d say that’s very impressive because the area around Sakura Square has changed dramatically. The adult book store that I never went to (hahaha) just right across the street is now a multi-million dollar brothel inspired bar/restaurant called Ophelia’s.
Although amongst all this change, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, that is Pacific, and that’s good. I love that, and I don’t know how similar it was to when George Inai first opened the store in 1944, but it sure seems like it’s been the same way it has been in the last thirty or so years I’ve been going.
Also it’s good to hear that this is still a family owned business, and I just hope that they’re around for decades and generations more. This is definitely a landmark of the Japanese American community in Colorado (the Tri-State Denver Buddhist temple is also next door).
Be sure to stop on by because this is the spot for not only Japanese, but all sorts of Asian/Hawaiian goods. My favorite of them all is the laulau which is most commonly either chicken or pork (I only buy pork) with an optional chunk of butterfish or sweet potato wrapped in a taro leaf with ti leaves slow cooked together…. that sounds so good right now, I’m getting hungry.
So you’re probably wondering “what difference does it make if I go to Pacific over Pacific Ocean Market (POM) in Aurora.” Well, for starters POM is Chinese/Vietnamese market, so their products and focus of products, along with the brands they carry will vary greatly from Pacific. One such example is with “nori” or seaweed for sushi, so if you’re going to prepare sushi, I’d recommend starting here because you do not want to try shopping at a German market if you want to prepare a pasta carbonara.
Tired of Stove top stuffing or microwavable meals, well go buy a donabe (pot), so that you can prepare nabe/nabemono which is extremely easy to prepare because you toss everything into one pot that keeps everything warm because the pot is made of clay. Not to mention look at how eff’n cute they are because you can’t find a Le Creuset like these.
During the holidays, or I think on weekends, I have seen vendors doing special taste testings of their products from salsa’s (Karami salsa out of Boulder, CO) to Yakult (they’re always here, but their best sales came from being seen on a Netflix show).
There are a lot of varieties of soy sauce between Japanese and other Asian soy sauces, but even within Japan, there are a lot of different kinds of soy sauce types from dark, lite, to white soy sauces. Beyond that, there are regional varities to soy sauce based sauces for people on the go looking for a noodle base to a dipping sauce.
Random images from throughout the store.