by Audrey Ho
“We started looking for a store in Waterloo since 2013,” Tina Lee, T&T’s current CEO said.
It opened December 5th and is located in Westmount Place, there are “flavours and foods that we’re bringing to Waterloo for the first time. T&T is all about celebrating the Orient and bringing asian food and culture to life,” Lee. said
On top of the new and different kinds of ingredients brought to Waterloo’s T&T location, the seafood bar is truly a special concept. As the first of its kind in Ontario, customers can choose from over 40 types of seafood, which is flown in daily. All they need to do is grab a bucket and some tongs. It’s the first self-serve seafood department found at T&T. Furthermore, for customers who want to eat their seafood right away, for an additional fee of $5 per pound, there are chefs available to cook the seafood to their liking.
Aside from the self-serve seafood bar, T&T’s Waterloo location also features a self-checkout and self-serve weigh stations. The self-service concept is popular throughout Asia, only adding to the Asian culture that T&T features in the store.
“We want customers to get in and out of the store quickly,” said Lee. “You get a price tag on your produce first and then you’re super fast out of the self-checkout at the front.”
Lee said the quality of food available at T&T is unmatched elsewhere in Waterloo. With such a variety of Asian cuisines and foods ranging from Korean imported grapes to dragon fruit, kumquats, and assortments of Asian fruits and vegetables, Lee says that it’s food customers can trust. For any imported foods, they are randomly tested for over 200 types of contaminants. T&T is also the only Asian supermarket to serve Angus beef, which is raised without antibiotics (labeled RWA). Many of the meat cuts available aren’t typically seen in most supermarkets.
Not only does T&T uphold a high quality of food and produce, but they also have an extensive collection of Asian beauty products. Some are hard to get your hands on, but T&T has them.
T&T’s Waterloo location is best targeted to the student population in the area. This location features a larger collection of instant noodles than the average T&T store and there are also other types of foods that are easy to cook. The handmade dumplings, for example, is also tailored for the university crowd. All you have to do is “boil until they float,” said Lee.