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Pearl River Mart Foods
Photograph: Jared Dangremond

Popular Chinatown mainstay Pearl River Mart opens a food store in Chelsea Market

Pearl River Mart Foods sells products from the city's most popular Asian-owned businesses.

By
Bao Ong
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New Yorkers, ex-New Yorkers and tourists alike mourned the closing of Pearl River Mart in 2016. But the iconic Chinatown business—a sprawling multi-floor emporium where you could buy everything from furniture to tchotchkes—came back nine months later in Tribeca and in another reincarnation, the shop is now selling food for the first time.

Pearl River Mart Foods opened today in the lower level of Chelsea Market (there’s also a second location of the original concept there) and carries products from some of the city’s most popular Asian and Asian American-owned businesses: Nom Wah, 886, Fong On, Kopitiam, 46 Mott, Philippine Bread House and Mala Project are just a few. The space also includes food stalls with vendors like Mao’s Bao, Kimbap Lab and Tea and Milk.

“Pearl River Mart Foods is a love letter to Asian food in New York,” says Pearl River President Joanne Kwong, in a released statement. “For 49 years, my in-laws Mr. and Mrs. Chen have quietly and steadily supported local businesses in New York City, especially in our beloved Chinatown.” 

Pearl River Mart Foods
Photograph: Jared Dangremond

Many Chinatown businesses have suffered this year between the current crisis and drop in sales attributed to racist and xenophobic-driven beliefs that the pandemic was started by a “Chinese virus.” Kwong and her family are using Pearl Mart’s name to help other businesses during this time. 

Pearl River Mart Foods
Photograph: Jared Dangremond

Tea and Milk co-founder Matthew Wong says joining the market is a convergence of his childhood and business goals. It’s also a chance for him to sell bubble tea in Chelsea.

For now, shoppers have to reserve a spot (click here) to shop at Pearl River Mart Foods.  

Pearl River Mart Foods
Photograph: Jared Dangremond
Pearl River Mart Foods
Photograph: Jared Dangremond

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