Posted on Tuesday 26 February 2019 by Ulster Business

James

James Pau with Albert and Spencer Pau

How is business?

The business has grown steadily over the decades however we constantly strive to remain competitive in the market place and provide the best customer service we possibly can.

How did you get started in the industry?

When we first opened Asia Supermarket in 1983, it was the family’s ambition to bring a taste of home to Belfast. We brought the Chinese culture to the local community through cuisine and provided authentic and tasty ingredients for the hospitality trade here. We branched out due to demand to also provide Indian, Korean, Philippine, Thai and Middle Eastern food and are always looking for opportunities to extend our range.

Typically, who are your clients or customers?

Our customers would be both wholesale and retail to include restaurants all over Northern Ireland, as well as consumers who want to create some unique dishes in their home kitchens.

Do you enjoy what you do, and what in particular?

Yes, and in particular having just completed the new build we have enjoyed being involved in the day-to-day aspects, given the bespoke nature of the project, coupled with the hustle and bustle of the day to day challenges of satisfying our customer needs.

What is the most difficult part of your job?

One of the most difficult parts of the job is sourcing good quality produce at competitive prices and enhancing the range of products available. However, we’re very proud of our new supermarket and warehouse which provides even more quality and choice for our customers.

What are the challenges facing your sector, and the economy in general?

One of the biggest challenges facing our sector is the cost of goods from our suppliers, particularly those procured in foreign currencies which in turn has a knock-on effect on what we charge our wholesale and retail customers.

To maintain our share of the market we constantly endeavour to get the best prices from our suppliers so that we can pass on competitive prices to our customers to maintain and grow our market share. With Brexit looming it will bring a major impact on imports costs and supplier prices which will present a major challenge for our business.

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