Carrie Rengers

Asian Market next to the Canal Route to close (+video)

Wichita is losing another longtime Asian market.

Almost a year ago, the Thien An Supermarket on Broadway just south of 13th Street closed.

Now, Asian Market at 1815 E. Central, which is just east of the Canal Route, is going to close.

“It’s a good opportunity for us right now,” says Long Pham, who owns the business with his wife, Jennifer Nguyen.

They were approached a few years ago about selling their building, but they weren’t interested at the time.

Now, Pham says their three children, who are 3, 6 and 8, are at ages where they need their mother to take them to school and extracurricular activities more.

Nguyen has been the main one running the market. She’s especially known for helping non-Asian customers find items in the store.

Pham also works in the finance department at Textron Aviation, which he says he’ll continue to do.

He says when another company approached him and his wife about buying their building – not the market – they decided it might also free them for family vacations.

The Vietnam native says he looks forward to showing his children historical sites around the United States.

He says it’s “living the American dream.”

“This will be a perfect time for us.”

The store’s last day likely will be March 20. Anything that doesn’t sell by then probably will be sold at an auction, Pham says.

“We’re trying to sell everything by ourselves,” he says.

Pham says he and his wife want to thank all their customers who have supported them since they opened in 2003.

“We’ve made some great friends, and we really appreciate their support.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers