Booming Asian market makes way for new grocery in Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A growing population of Burmese and Karen people in Nacogdoches has brought a new kind of business to town. Several months ago an Asian grocery store opened, a first in the oldest town in Texas.

Pa pa Wady Asian Grocery store is on East Main in Nacogdoches. Step inside to imagine yourself in any of the Asian countries.

"Korean,  or Japanese, Thailand," Aung Zaw, the store's manager, said.

The Fort Worth transfer, originally from Burma, said Jasmine Rice is his best seller. Next are Asian sauces, the hotter the better. There is a variety of frozen fish, Asian noodles, and don't forget the canned jackfruit.

Asian supermarkets are very common in larger cities, but this diversity is something new for Nacogdoches. It will serve a growing population. Most of that population is comprised by Karen people, an ethnic group from Burma.

Ker Paw, a Karen shopper, and his family are regulars in the new store.

"Before we used to travel a lot for food," Paw said. "Go to Houston or Dallas and some other places just for food. Right now we have a place here, we can get anything we want, we need."

Paw was pleased to find one of his favorites.

"This is food from Burma," Paw said. "This is like a snack."

A visit may send you to the Internet searching for Burmese recipes. Fish, vegetables, and fruit are prime ingredients.

"Mostly people like their fish paste and bamboo shoots," Paw said.

The bamboo shoots go with everything.

"It's good," Zaw said.

Asian markets want to appeal to the general population. This Nacogdoches business represents a new trend for Asian markets to venture out to smaller cities.

Business is good for the Asian grocery store, particularly on Saturdays. That's when the fresh produce is delivered, attracting customers from Center, Lufkin and Nacogdoches.

Pa pa Wady is opened Tuesday through Saturday and is located on Main Street, just east of University Drive.

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