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Beloved B.C.-based Asian grocery chain announces first U.S. location

People are seen outside a T&T Supermarket location in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS) People are seen outside a T&T Supermarket location in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Residents of Washington State will soon be able to experience a B.C. favourite without crossing the border.

T&T Supermarkets – the Vancouver-founded, Richmond-based chain of Asian grocery stores – announced this week that it plans to open its first stateside store next year.

The new, 76,000-square-foot supermarket in Bellevue, Wash., will be the largest Asian grocery store in the state and "a flagship store for T&T," according to a news release from the company, which framed the announcement as a celebration of its 30th birthday.

"After 30 successful years in Canada, we couldn't be more excited to bring our unique offering closer to home for customers in the United States," said CEO Tina Lee in the release.

Those offerings include a sushi counter, hot food bar, noodle station, in-store kitchen and bakery, T&T said, adding comments from a "loyal customer" currently living in the Seattle area.

"I used to live in Toronto, and I moved to Seattle for work 10 years ago. Honestly, one of the things I miss the most from home was T&T," said Charles Chang, in the release.

"We just don't have anything like it here. T&T coming to town is going to be a huge game changer for the food scene."

The chain plans to open its Bellevue location in the Marketplace at Factoria in summer 2024.

Founded in Vancouver in 1993, T&T Supermarkets has been owned by Loblaw Companies Limited since 2009.

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