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Food & Drink

Oriental Food Store is closing up

Opened in 1983 the shop has seen a bunch of changes in our little neighborhood.




It’s with more than a little shame that I have to admit that after living here for 13 years I never went into the Oriental Food Shop. Time is running out on slackers like myself and those that have been regulars for years.

Richmond Magazine has this nice article on the closing and history of the shop.

In a shop at the edge of a strip mall, its exterior a faded tapestry of cherry blossoms, Japanese script and peeling white paint, Belle Ann Apodaca takes stock of the dwindling panko crumbs, boxed tofu, sesame oil, bric-a-brac and photos of customers alive and long passed, the culmination — and end — of nearly 33 years in business as one of Richmond’s first Asian food shops.

When the Oriental Food Store & Gift Shop opened at 4803 Forest Hill Ave. on Oct. 13, 1983, it wasn’t long before customers affectionately nicknamed the cheerful Apodaca “Li’l Miss Chin.”

I also hope that whatever happens to that location at least part of the mural on the side stays. The photos I’ve included were taken way back in 2011 and have since been touched up and refreshed a bit.




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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.