Chefs and cooking enthusiasts from all over the South West have been flocking to Busselton to shop at its very own Asian mini mart.
Owner Ian Hayes took over the Corner Store in West Busselton last year and has since been building up its Asian supermarket after finding their was a niche market for Asian produce in the region.
Mr Hayes said all the products were imported and included produce that customers had trouble finding in Perth, telling him they had to visit multiple stores to find what he had in the one place.
“We have three freezers full of Asian food, it has started to take over the whole shop,” he said.
The store stocks food products from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, India, China, Korea, Japan and shoppers can find everything from steamboats to steam buns and an array of different types of soy sauces.
“People can get genuine curry leaves and anything from seaweed to fish roe,” he said.
“We did not realise how many different varieties of soy sauce there were and they were all for different things - the same as rice – you get old rice, new rice and glutenous rice depending on what you cook.
“The store is starting to get known, we have chefs and restaurants coming in to buy pieces, and restaurants have asked us to get items so they do not have to travel to Perth each week.
“It is growing.”
Mr Hayes said they have seen new customers coming into the store after they completed Japanese cooking classes in Dunsborough and apprentices from Bunbury were being sent to the store by their teacher.
While he knew a little bit about Asian cooking before starting the mini mart, Mr Hayes said he certainly knew more about it now and was learning all the time about what food goes with what.
“One of the things they like in the Philippines is embryo eggs - that is the chicken inside the eggs – and it is cooked with the unborn chicken,” he said.
“We found where we could order them from Perth and they come direct from the Eastern states, the same with durian, there is a company from Perth which imports them once a week direct from Thailand fresh.
“You pay a fortune for it - but if you really want it - it is available.
“We have really gotten into where our different importers are so our customers do not have to go around to different shops, it is all here.”
The Corner Store Asian Mini Mart is open from 5am to 9pm Monday to Saturdays and from 6am on Sundays, the store is located at 235 Bussell Highway, West Busselton.