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Duelling grocery stores in Coquitlam — and one will have 'night market' food

Here's what you can expect at a pair of chain stores with an Asian flare opening soon.
Bubble milk tea, or boba, is a popular drink that originated in Taiwan.

Two Canadian grocery store chains will soon be duking it out in Coquitlam with massive investments in infrastructure to attract customers.

While Loblaw Companies Ltd. is putting $2.5 million into a T & T Supermarket at 1085 Woolridge St., according to building permit figure, the Jim Pattison-owned PriceSmart Foods is also re-entering the Tri-Cities grocery market.

Loblaw has yet to provide a potential opening date for its new Asian grocery store — the second T & T Supermarket in the city.

However, PriceSmart Foods has offered a glimpse of what customers can expect.

In a statement to the Tri-City News, a spokesperson said the company is making "significant additional investments in this location to bring our customers the best shopping experience."

Building permits suggest the improvements will total about $385,000, but PriceSmart has hinted the updates will be greater than that amount.

What the company is trying to create is a "night market" feel to the store, especially in its eatery that's set to feature popular Asian fare, such as bubble tea, a Hong Kong-style noodle bar offering made to order ramen and a teppanyaki station offering Japanese-style grilled foods.

"The in-store cafe will be designed to make customers feel like they’re visiting a night market," the PriceSmart Foods spokesperson said.

There will also be live fish in tanks that customers will be able to catch themselves, ensuring freshness.

Customers can also expect to find a large selection of specialty meats and produce along with a wide variety of Asian cooking sauces, ingredients and unique snacks.

The new PriceSmart location is in the former Save-On-Foods store at Coquitlam's Pinetree Village (2991 Lougheed Hwy.).

Banners are up indicating the store will open soon, but the spokesperson explained its opening date will depend on city permitting.

"We will have a better idea of our opening date once we conclude the permit process with the City of Coquitlam."