Not a mall but a Korean grocery.
by Sally Mitani
Another ethnicity has joined the united nations of Packard/Platt, which includes Bombay Grocery (Indian), Euro Market (Russian), and multiple Middle Eastern shops. Though the name Galleria doesn't give off much of an ethnic whiff, it's a Korean grocery. While most of the existing markets in the area are small and worn, looking as though there might be a forgotten treasure or two lurking in a dusty corner, Galleria is as bright and shiny as the cellophane wrappings reflecting off its fluorescent lights. The building itself is brand new. At 8,000 square feet, it isn't supermarket-sized, but it seems like it compared to other shops in the area.
Owner Hyun Bang owned the Han Mi market in Troy for seventeen years and had actually intended to retire three years ago. The grocery business had been good to him, and he was looking for an investment: "My broker recommended this property, and at first I think rental property," he says, but after designing the building, which replaced two vacant houses on the corner of Packard and Maplewood, he decided he wasn't quite ready to retire. (There's also a small space in the building for a tenant. He's looking for a Korean hairdresser.)
Bang is carrying the same groceries he had at Han Mi, though this store is bigger. Anything you'd want for Korean cooking is here; in addition, about 20 percent of the store is devoted to Japanese groceries. Tofu is a big seller--and so is chili paste, and non-GMO and organic products like soybean sprouts and rice. Bang also sells kimchi made daily by his wife.
Galleria, 3111 Packard. 975-8900. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 1-7 p.m.
Got a retail or restaurant change? Send email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave voicemail at 769-3175, ext. 309.
[Originally published in July, 2010.]