R&T Asian Market
For those looking for quality, imported food and beverages from Southeast Asia, the R&T Asian Market is open and ready for business. On May 10, Tess Neidig and Randy Stroup, market managers, cut the red ribbon provided by the Williamsport Chamber of Commerce to mark their official opening in front of friends, family, and members of commerce.
Smiles beamed across Neidig’s face as her long time dream came true. With retail in Neidig’s blood, according to Stroup, it was always a dream for her to own a store in America. Before leaving the Philipines, Neidig’s aunt emphasized her belief in Neidig’s ability to follow her dream.
“She told me you could run a store. She said to look around the town or city to see what they don’t have and that’s what you’re going to bring and provide to them,” said Neidig.
Stroup added that an inspiration for him to join Neidig in starting the store was to no longer work behind a desk, staring at a computer screen. He looks forward to interacting with people from Williamsport and provide them new and authentic foods.
Prior to opening a store, Neidig found herself traveling at least an hour to find the ingredients and authentic food from the Philippine islands. To prevent others from having to do the same, Neidig and Stroup worked together to first provide Filipino products. Now, with some more experience and community interaction in their back pockets, Neidig said they want to expand to more cultures.
“We started with Filipino products. But now we are thinking bigger. We hope to provide other cultures,” said Neidig. “So that instead of them driving to New Jersey or State College or Philadelphia, they instead don’t have to because I can provide it.”
Cultures that Neidig and Stroup plan to expand to will cover a wide range of Asian cuisine. Some countries they hope to import foods and goods from include: Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan.
Once the store is rolling, Neidig and Stroup plan to utilize the table sitting by the entrance of the store to cook and sell authentic Philippine cuisine to those who visit their market. According to Stroup, they will use the imported ingredients to provide those who visit an example of what their products can create.
On the shelves of the market, customers will currently be able to find and purchase a wide variety of seafood, fruits and vegetables, snacks, and more from the Philipines. The market, located at 314 Government Place, will be open based on the daily hours posted on the R&T Facebook page until a full-time staff is hired.