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Grocer sees demand for Asian staples

10/20/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Don Hao thinks he has a built-in customer base for the Chinese grocery store he plans to open.

Hao hopes to have Chinesegrocery.us open in approximately a month. It is located at 1501 Main, in the former True Value Hardware building, which he purchased for his business.

For the last few months, Hao has been getting the business ready.

He already has a marquee sign out front, in both English and Chinese.

Hao had a reason for choosing the name of his business.

"Easy name to remember, to recall for the customer," he said.

International students at Fort Hays State University are Hao's customer base.

"Because at Fort Hays State University there are more and more Asian students, that's the reason," said Hao, who is from China.

Instead of traveling to other cities to pick up ingredients for dishes, customers will be able to purchase them at Hao's store.

"We're not cooking, just sell the groceries to Asian, like Japan, Korea, the foods from their countries," Hao said. "I think this will be a good business because there is no (similar) business here. That's why I open the business."

Hao, who recently moved to Hays, was a businessman in the past, but not in the grocery business.

"I feel a little bit nervous," Hao said.