New Asian market in Wallingford caters to area cooks  

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WALLINGFORD — Eric Dian Jin hopes to fuel the popularity in Asian home cooking by bringing the ingredients found in Far Eastern dishes to area cooks.  

Dian Jin opened A8 Market Asian grocery store at 970 N. Colony Road two weeks ago. Dian Jin is servicing the local Asian market and Americans who cook in their kitchens instead of relying on take out. 

“There are a lot of Asian people in this area, Hamden, North Haven and Cheshire,” he said. “But Americans too are looking for original Asian food. I want to make it a destination.”

The 3,000 square foot store is stocked with Asian noodles, seafood, beef, mushrooms, spices and sauces as well as Asian home decor and other products. Dian Jin filled an entire wall with refrigerators that store cold and frozen vegetables, dumplings, seafood and meats. The store is located in the same plaza as the Holiday Cinema Stadium 14 and Big Lots.     

“I think it’s good location,” he said. “It’s close to highways and movie theater and highway access is right here.”

Dian Jin gets his inventory from wholesalers near Boston and New York and is in the midst of a soft-opening to allow customers to find him and build up his stock, said store manager Amy Zheng Ying.

Dian Jin, originally from China, has lived in the U.S. for 25 years. A8 is his first business venture and he wants local Asian cooks to know they don’t need to travel far for specialty products.

Cheshire resident Joan Pilarczyk came to A8 Friday after a friend mentioned there was a new Asian market in Wallingford. Pilarczyk said the Asian cooking trend has intensified among her friends. She was making an original ramen dish and was looking over the spices. 

“This is so much closer,” said Pilarczyk, who travels to other cities for ingredients. “The dried mushrooms are always popular.” 

The town has seen some new Asian restaurants open their doors to customers looking for more than Chinese take-out.  Not too far away, Sirinan's Thai & Japanese Restaurant also began catering to Asian cooks at 900 N. Colony Road by converting part of its dining area into a small grocery store. 

For more information and hours of operation call A8 at (203) 626-5719. 

mgodin@record-journal.com203-317-2255Twitter: @Cconnbiz

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