Central Ohio’s original Asian market working to continue service to community


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Central Ohio’s original Asian market is taking extra steps to serve the community, even as the coronavirus may threaten some of its supply. 

The Columbus Asian Market, or CAM International Market, has been in Ohio since the 1990s, but has never faced anything like this before.

“We clean every two hours,” manager Yucheng Lai said.

The market has all workers wearing gloves and masks to protect themselves and customers from the coronavirus.

Behind the scenes, owners are busy making sure shelves stay stocked.

“Our sales one week were higher than Christmas week or Chinese New Year,” owner Jay Yang said. 

In order to meet demand, the market is limiting some items like rice, but with 20-25 percent of their products from overseas countries like China, they could run into inventory problems on rare items.

“There is nothing being shipped out,” Yang added.

For some of the unique items, Yang estimates that could happen in two to three weeks. During that time, owners are trying to find new ways to get those products, which include certain sauces and noodles. 

While some of those rarer items might see shortages, Yang wants the community that depends on them to know, nearly all of what families need every day can and will still be found on their shelves.

“We are very lucky, most of our products, we have enough,” Yang said.

To further protect people, the market is limiting the number of people inside the store and asking all to wear masks. 

For the first time, the market is also offering curbside contact-free pick up for groceries.

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