DIRT: A Modern Market
DIRT is a full-time retail store owned and operated by ...
Saigon Market, on the Findlay Market Square, could be anywhere in the world. This Asian grocery store is the oldest and one of only a few of its kind in the Cincinnati area, but reminds travelers of similar stores in New York, San Francisco, and even Asia. Owner Hgiep Ho came to the U.S. from Vietnam with his parents, Xu and Janet, in 1976. They bought the building that year and started their business with a few packages of noodles and a couple of bottles of sauce.
Today the shelves of Saigon Market are stacked floor to ceiling with a thousand different products from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Japan, and the Philippines. Other parts of the world are represented, too. There's a selection of West African sauces, Jamaican spices, and Mexican groceries.
Shoppers at Saigon also come from all over the world. Asian natives rely on the store for everything they're used to from home. It's the place for people who love to cook authentic recipes the authentic way. They have a wide variety of cookbooks. Every ingredient for any Asian recipe is easy to find at Saigon, including specialty produce like Thai holy basil, plantains, and Asian cabbages, as well as fresh horseradish, shallots, and garlic.
You'll find every piece of authentic cookware and tableware for Asian cuisine. Several shelves are stacked with colorful plates, bowls, spoons, platters, and rice cookers. The selection of chopsticks includes practical, everyday styles, as well as beautifully decorated ones.
This store is also the ultimate source for someone who loves Asian food but wants to spend the least time preparing it. Saigon Market carries seasoning packets for every popular restaurant dish, including pad thai, lemon chicken, szechuan shrimp, sweet and sour chicken, and fried rice. The variety of rice and egg noodles is in the dozens.
Vegetarian customers come to Saigon Market for products not available anywhere else locally. You'll find a wide selection of vegetable proteins and Saigon Market carries bulk sizes that are hard to find. There's also every kind of tofu, both fresh and packaged, as well as special seasoning kits for tofu dishes.
If you shopped at Saigon Market every day, and tried something new each time you went in, it would take you months to sample everything. What catches your eye when you first enter are the bright colors on the snack shelves. Asian groceries come in beautifully designed packages and some of the most-eye catching are the bags, boxes, and tins of crunchy snacks, candies, cookies. Also eye-catching are the rows and rows of different hot sauces, soy sauces, and teas. In the refrigerator case are beverages from all over the world. Saigon Market carries Asian health and beauty products, as well as imported blankets, shoes, and decorations.