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Meet Tim Moon of Zion Market

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim Moon.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
During the 1970’s, San Diego experienced an enormous growth in the Asian community. There had become a huge demand for grocery stores at the time. Zion Market was then established in 1979 and San Diego’s first Korean grocery store. Along with Korean cuisine, Japanese foods accompanied the store’s uniqueness. Serving its purpose at the time, Zion Market opened as a 3,000 square foot store. Over time, the popularity grew to bring in more and more customers, requiring more space. Knocking down a few walls, the small grocery store made way for a total of 7,000 square feet. Being in America’s finest city, San Diego, the population continued to grow, bringing in more and more Koreans and Japanese. Zion Market was forced to look into moving its location to a much larger building.

Finally, in the summer of 2002, Zion Market found its home at 4611 Mercury Street. With a building that was 5 times larger, Zion Market could finally offer a substantial amount of groceries along with other businesses located inside its new home. Bringing the Asian concept of a one-stop shopping experience, the new Zion Marketplace offered restaurants, a gift shop, a clothing and jewelry store, a cellular phone store, and a cosmetics store. In 2006, Zion Market could not have imagined what would happen soon. There was a demand for Zion Market to establish its second location in Hawaiian Gardens, California. Later, Zion Market would open in the city of Irvine, California in 2008. Then Zion Market took on its fourth challenge in Koreatown, downtown Los Angeles.

During all the time, San Diego carried on its growth, which brought in more and more customers throughout businesses in San Diego, Zion Market included. Not only needing a larger location, Zion Market had reached its full parking capacity with 140 parking spaces. In the summer of 2013, Zion Market moved to its current and largest location by taking over a 100,000 Sears/K-Mart location, 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Throughout the preparation of that relocation, Zion Market’s ambitions helped open locations in Buena Park and Cerritos in that same summer, both cities located in the county of Los Angeles. And in the summer of 2017, Zion Market opened in the community of Duluth, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. Pushing for the middle of 2019, Zion Market plans on opening its second location in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

The popularity and success of Zion Market come from offering the highest quality of fresh foods and household goods at the best prices. We will continue to serve our customers with those ideas in mind.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When opening and maintaining successful businesses, there is always a challenge of meeting the expectations of customers. Zion Market commits to meeting those needs.

Please tell us about Zion Market.
I overlook all operations at the San Diego location, from customers’ compliments to quality control to making sure there are enough shopping carts available. I make sure our company is growing steadily in customer volume. Growth is a key element to our business.

I am proud to be a part of this business since its beginning. I’ve seen our business’s growth since the earlier years up until 2010 only using word of mouth. Being a part of that and seeing what it is now is an immense encouragement of what hard work and dedication can bring.

What sets Zion Market apart from others is that we offer the freshest foods at the best prices. Also, we pride ourselves on our cleanliness. It even shocks me at how clean we can maintain our market even though we bring in 20,000 customers weekly.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Absolutely not.

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