Can’t travel, so customers take taste buds on trip at Watertown market

WWNY Can’t travel, so customers take taste buds on trip at Watertown market

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - In a time where traveling to far-away places is tough or impossible, some people are getting their fix for exotic flavors right here in the north country.

“I’m gonna say 90 percent of what you find in our store, you can’t find it in another market,” said Richard Jacobsen, who owns the Asian Market in Watertown.

He says lately business has been really good. Jacobsen believes it’s because of the decrease in international travel due to the pandemic.

“I feel kinda guilty for saying that, but obviously when the pandemic hit, it put people in a situation where they couldn’t do their normal traveling,” he said.

Instead, folks flock to the market where there’s much more than just Asian cuisine.

“I think we’re more of an international market at this point. The stuff on this shelf is African, this is my Latino section. I have a little Indian section area right here and this is our Jamaican section,” said Jacobsen.

“It’s good to have different cultures here that we can try, even though we can’t travel. It’s like we’re going to travel through food,” said Tia Pitts, customer.

Jacobsen says the market can also provide a taste of home for Fort Drum soldiers who have lived abroad.

Orane James, a Jamaican stationed at Fort Drum, and says this is the only place he can find his favorite products.

“These are ingredients that my grandma - she always incorporated them in every meal she made. It gives you the sense of a homecooked meal,” he said.

“It really does make a lot of people feel like home. It makes us happy to know we can supply it for them,” said Jacobsen.

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