Filipino grocery chain expanding in Canada, and Jollibee comes with it

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You may not have heard of the grocery store chain Seafood City, but it’s safe to say it’s a pretty big deal. The California-based business is a Filipino supermarket, with locations in U.S. west coastal states, including its home state of California, along with Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington.

jejim / Shutterstock.com

Seafood City has had one Canadian location open for about a year. It’s outside Toronto in Mississauga, and it houses several fast food restaurants, including a Jollibee, the popular Filipino chain that has plans to expand in Canada, too.

The next Seafood City to open up will be in 2019 in Winnipeg, notes Retail Insider, and it will go into a former Sears location. That location will have a Jollibee, too, and it seems likely that going forward, their new locations will also house the Filipino fast food giant beloved for their spaghetti, crispy chicken, burgers, and peach mango pies.

Seafood City has plans to expand in Canadian cities, as does Jollibee, who this summer said they want to open 100 Canadian locations within the next five years. They consider themselves a “one stop shop” for anything Filipino consumers might need or want, and take pride in their selection of goods, including fresh seafood.

Could Seafood City be how Vancouverites get to know both the Filipino grocery chain and Jollibee? It’s quite possible.

jollibee
Jollibee (Lester Balajadia / Shutterstock.com)

Seafood City plans to focus on Canadian cities with substantial Filipino populations, they’ve told the media in the past, and, according to CTV, the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver are home to the largest Filipino communities in Canada. We also have some vacant Sears and Target locations that could work.

Filipino food has enjoyed an upswing in popularity in Vancouver in recent years, thanks in no small part to a lot of hype around Insta-worthy feasts like the “Boodle Fight” style of eating with your hands from a spread done on leaves set directly on the table.

Seafood City is a huge draw in the U.S. If you’ve ever shopped at the Target at the Eagle Rock Plaza in north-eastern Los Angeles, home to a huge Seafood City, you’ll know that place is consistently packed.

Right now, the closest Seafood City to Vancouver is in Tukwila, near Seattle. Oh, and they’ve got a Jollibee there, too–the closest one to us in Vancouver.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where ahe earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com