Store Caters to Growing Asian Population
So, market owner Mike Wong said he's ready to change the storefront to meet shopper demands. Nemy Gutierrez came to Columbia from the Philippines 22 years ago.
"A lot of times when I come here, they ran out fast of the supplies of the items that I used to buy," said Gutierrez. "I think, to me, that indicates that more people are coming to purchase items."
The U.S. Census Bureau reported Columbia's Asian population as 3,636 in 2000. That increased by about 500 in 2003 and it's expected to top 4,500 by 2008.
That rising population also has increased business at Hong Kong Market, which has almost tripled in size.
"Every week, I find it's too crowded in this store," said customer Jingjing Sha. "So, I'm happy to have a new building there."
Columbia's telephone directory lists 18 Asian restaurants.