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Sunrise Market, Vancouver

Over the 13 years I have lived in Vancouver, I have driven past Sunrise Market on a regular basis. I have always wondered what made it special as it is always busy no matter what time of the day I drove past. Yet, I have never bothered to stop and check it out until last Sunday.

Sunrise Market is located in Downtown Eastside, near the historic Chinatown, on the corner of Powell Street and Gore Avenue. While it may not be located in the most desirable part of town, those looking for a bargain on produce should consider checking out this local hidden gem.

Many locals would be surprised to know that the proprietors of Sunrise Market are also the same folks behind the well known, Sunrise Soya Foods. My family have been long time loyal customers of Sunrise Soya Foods, a local Vancouver company who produce tofu, soy desserts, soy milk, among many other products.

Knowing that tidbit gave me the incentive to check out Sunrise Market. Well, that and the raving reviews from all the Yelpers who unanimously named it the "best and cheapest place to buy produce in Vancouver". On a rainy Sunday, I had to check out why Sunrise Market was always packed.

We parked and I walked up to Sunrise Market with a $20 bill in my jacket pocket hoping to score some good deals. As I approached the store, I spotted some signs for Chinese tangerine (Lokan) for $0.29/lb. I blinked a few times, making sure my eyes were not deceiving me. A month earlier, I had purchased Chinese tangerine at $1.29/lb for Chinese New Year. Surely, they forgot to put the 1 infront?

Then, another sign caught my eye. Bananas are $0.39/lb. That's half the price of what my local store charges these days.

It was at this point that I sprinted back to my car in the pouring rain, grabbed 4 cloth grocery bags as I had a feeling that I was about to score some amazing deals. And did I ever score some amazing deals!

1 lb box of strawberries $1.00
Green and red peppers $0.99/lb

Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) $1.39/lb

Grape tomatoes $0.79/lb

Wintermelon $0.29/lb

Tomatoes $0.29/lb

Zucchini $0.29/lb
Kale 2 for $1.00
Honeydew $1.00 each
Parsnip $0.19/lb
Green grapes $1.49/lb

I spent $12.53 on produce that would have cost me at least double if not triple the price elsewhere. I cannot think of the last time I paid $1 for honeydew melon or a pound of strawberries for $1. And they were fresh as it can be!

My loot!

The staff restock the produce throughout the day and they seem to receive deliveries regularly as most of the produce looked quite fresh. As some of the Yelp reviewers recommended, you should go earlier in the day to score the best produce. Aside from produce, Sunrise Market also has an extensive selection of tofu, meats, condiments and other usual items you would find in a grocery store. Most of it is competitively priced, from what I saw. But the best deal is still the produce.

Sunrise Market is a popular place not just for Asian grandmas and grandpas. While I was shopping there, I spotted shoppers of every age from every ethnicity. This store is packed with shoppers wielding baskets of groceries squeezing through the impossibly narrow aisles.

I should mention that there were a few produce that I saw at Sunrise Market which looked like it has seen better days. Then again, I have seen that at many big box stores who sell less than fresh produce except it is priced up to 5 times as much.

For those looking for the Whole Foods ambiance and shopping experience, Sunrise Market is likely not going to meet your needs. The lighting is awful, the aisles are narrow, not to mention it is located in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Vancouver.

But if you want to score amazing deals on produce from a local grocer, Sunrise Market is where it's at. While shopping there, I felt like I was joining a secret club of saavy and frugal shoppers; I have never felt more at home.

As a reformed shopaholic, nothing makes my heart pitter-patter faster (other than my little man, of course) than scoring a hot deal! When I reached my car, I plopped the heavy bags of produce in the back trunk, rushed to the passenger seat and just like the Ikea commercial, I told my husband to "Start the Car!".

Oh, Sunrise Market, I cannot wait to see you again!

Sunrise Market
Accepts: Cash or Debit
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
Open Daily: 8 am - 6 pm 

Apparently pick pockets love coming here too.

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