In 1997, Jay Yang, a native of Shanghai, China began his business with a group of highly educated young engineering professions (graduated from Ohio colleges) in Columbus, Ohio. Yang sold Chinese foods and daily grocery mostly to Chinese professors, graduate students, and visiting scholars who come to the state Ohio as the first generation immigrants. Yang named his business Columbus Asia Market (CAM), after the goal where he put all his efforts to meet very unsatisfied grocery needs of Chinese immigrant families in central Ohio and also to serve as a window to introduce Asian food culture to Ohio Americans.
CAM began its outreach to non-Chinese clientele offering fine food products, kitchenware, and gifts from China. Cam continued to develop and expand its customer base by catering to the needs of the shopper, which now included second and third generation Asian Americans as well as non-Asians. This outreach included expanding the product mix to include more than 10,000 items from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and many other Asian countries. Products such as dry food, snacks, noodles, bakery, sake, can food, on-site prepared food, kitchenware, Asian book, music, and cosmetics are sold with competitive prices.
With more than 13,000 square feet, CAM now is the most comprehensive and largest modern Asian grocery store in central Ohio. Designed and operated by a group of highly educated young engineering professions, CAM demonstrated a good example of combining the modern technology and management system with the traditional Asian food industry. CAM established a strict quality control system. From the very beginning of product transportation through receiving, storage, packing and displaying on shelf, every step has been detailed to strictly follow the operation standards. CAM believes good customer service is paramount. It has been well known for its quick response to customer concerns. Because of the success in Columbus, CAM has opened its second store Cincinnati Asia Market in 2002 and its third store Cleveland Asia Market in 2005.
In the past ten years, CAM is the destination store for Columbus Asian Americans. It is also a window of the Asian food culture for central Ohio Americans. Professors, students, adopted kids families, local residents all use CAM to meet their Asian food cooking needs. To best serve its customer, CAM only selects products from reputable suppliers. Its produce directly comes from California farms. Its meat products are ordered from Chicago. Its seafood is purchased from New York and Boston area.
Current Columbus Asia Market, Cincinnati Asia Market, and Cleveland Asia Market are all located beside the main highway and inside the big shopping center with large-scale parking place. Their shopping environments are big, neat, and comfortable.
Columbus Asia Market not only serves the customer, but also the community at large by promoting Asian food cultures, sponsoring cultural events and shows, distributing educational and informational materials, and contributing to local organizations and societies such as Asian Community Service, Tzu Chi Foundation and Ohio Contemporary Chinese School. It has worked with the Ohio State University Agricultural department to help promote high value agricultural products. As was designed ten years ago, CAM has been serving as a window to introduce Asian food culture to the American society in the Midwest area and also to help enrich the diversity of Columbus city life.