What used to be a great place to buy good-quality beef and unusual seafood items such as fresh monkfish and live halibut is shutting down this week. According to a store manager I spoke with, July 31 will be the last day for local Korean supermarket chain Freshia's Tustin location.
The meat and seafood departments are completely bare, the produce department thinly stocked with sad-looking greens and half-rotten canteloupes. Some of the remaining items are marked down for clearance, and it might be a good time to stock on up on more shelf-stable stuff.
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This non-Korean-speaking writer wasn't able to learn the official reason why Freshia's going under at this location. Details about the next tenant of the building were also not clear from the manager who answered the questions.
It's sad to see the place go away, but the decline was evident as the quality of fresh produce plummeted noticeably over the past year. The aisles between shelves were widened to compensate for a visibly reduced amount of inventory, foreshadowing trouble for an industry that relies on a broad product mix to make a profit. It makes sense now, as we noticed similar changes at Freshia's Torrance location and the exodus of that location's tenants, including Kyochon Chicken. As it is, Freshia's Garden Grove location shut down several months ago, leaving Torrance as its last store.
Two other Irvine Korean supermarkets should take over Freshia's Tustin business handily: H Mart in the Diamond Jamboree Plaza and Zion Market in Northwood Town Center. Between the two, parking is less of a disaster at Zion Market, but anyone who frequents the Jamboree Plaza could have already guessed that.