Pacific Ocean Marketplace, a business that calls itself “Denver’s largest and best Asian supermarket,” was recently acquired by Great Wall Supermarket, a national chain.
Trong Lam, POM’s president, founded it more than three decades ago, opening the Denver location at 2200 West Alameda Ave. in the late 1980s. The Broomfield site at 6600 West 120th Ave. followed in 2005, with the newest Pacific Ocean Marketplace opening in 2014 in Aurora at 12303 East Mississippi Ave.
All three locations were included in the deal. The Denver store was transferred on April 25, with the Broomfield location set for July 25 and the Aurora site on Oct. 25.
“We are grateful for our local community support through various associations, Chinese newspapers/magazines, other local businesses, and, of course, our loyal customers who have shopped at our locations throughout the years,” Lam wrote in an emailed statement.
“Although we have left the supermarket business, we will continue to serve the Chinese and Asian community through our shopping centers,” he added.
POM offers products from China, Vietnam, Japan, Korea and more, claiming to be “one of the leading providers of fresh seafood throughout Colorado and metro Denver.”
The West Alameda Avenue store was the spot near where more than 200 rallied in support of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community after the murder of eight people in Atlanta last year, including six Asian-American women.
Meanwhile, Lihui Zhang established the first Great Wall Supermarket in New York City almost two decades ago, according to the corporate website. The chain employs thousands, with stores in the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston and more.
“We believe they will develop in the future and make great contributions to the Asian community,” Lam said about Great Wall Supermarket.
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One Denver patron has mixed feelings about the acquisition of Pacific Ocean Marketplace.
“It’s too bad that a longtime Colorado business is being bought out by a chain,” said Eric Rau, a customer who lives in Denver. “Hopefully, Great Wall will carry the broad range of seafood and produce that POM did – along with the myriad Asian condiments, frozen foods and trinkets.”
However, POM isn’t the only player in the Denver metropolitan market. H Mart, a mega Asian grocery store chain, also operates an outpost in Aurora at 2751 South Parker Rd.
Rau acknowledged that particular challenge. “I’m sure competing with H Mart was difficult, so maybe having a bigger operator come in will be good,” he wrote in an emailed statement. “We’ll see.”
Denver’s Asian Chamber of Commerce was made aware of the sale via social media.
“The ACC joins the entire AAPI community in thanking the Lam family for their many years of service and support of the AAPI community,” said Fran Campbell, president and CEO. “We are looking forward to a positive and productive partnership with Great Wall Supermarket.”