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Empty Walmart reborn as massive Asian market

Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 18:36:35-04

The old Walmart on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst will sit empty no longer. Asia Food Market opened Thursday at noon, with dozens of customers anxiously waiting for the doors to open.

This location is the third for the Asian grocery chain, and the largest, joining stores in Syracuse and Rochester.

The grocery store operates in about half of the 125,000 square foot building. It offers fresh produce, seafood, meat, groceries as well as some furniture.

"We are so different," Ren explained. "We are the biggest Asian market in WNY. What we have, they don't have it."

The size and variety of options were what most of the customers were talking about Thursday. Charlie Wang from Williamsville was finally able to find one of his favorite treats after looking basically everywhere else in Western New York.

"This one is Durian mooncake," he said, showing off the package. "It's really hard to find in this area. But finally I found it right here."

Xi Liu is a student at the University at Buffalo. He was impressed with the availability of his favorite kinds of fresh seafood.

"It's got all the seafood I want," he said. "In the past I can't get any seafood like here even in Wegmans or Whole Foods."

Ren is working to get plans for the other half of the building approved by the Town of Amherst. He's hoping to transform it into a large food court.

Asia Food Market is located at 2055 Niagara Falls Boulevard next to the Home Depot.