About Us



If you love to cook, and live in Vancouver, BC, you are probably familiar with South China Seas, the specialty foods shop in the Granville Island Public Market that has been introducing the exhilarating tastes and exotic fragrances of the World’s cuisines to West Coast chefs and adventurous home cooks since 1987.

Although our name suggests our original focus on the foods of South East Asia, our product offering has since expanded to include the essential ingredients of Asia, India, the Middle East and Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Latin America – an astonishingly diverse array of products including fresh and fragrant herbs and rare spices, sauces and condiments, fresh and dried chiles, exotic fruits, vegetables and mushrooms, curries, chutneys and pickles, fragrant teas, fresh and dried pastas, uncommon rice varieties, seaweeds & sushi ingredients, dim sum & dumplings, fresh tortillas, Mexican cheeses and much, much more.

In 2008, South China Seas added a second store in East Vancouver’s vibrant Commercial Drive neighbourhood. The stylish Victoria Drive location incorporates a commercial kitchen facility where we grind spices, blend proprietary spice blends and prepare products such as our Junko’s Japanese Style Salad Dressings. The kitchen also provides the venue for cooking classes, wine and food tastings and hands-on culinary workshops.

Photo: Ben Garfinkel, foodists.ca

Photo: Ben Garfinkel, foodists.ca

We also carry an extensive selection of cookbooks with a focus on global culinary traditions, the work of ground-breaking chefs and books for culinary professionals.
 Specialty cookware (including huge granite mortar and pestles from Thailand) and tableware to enhance the experience of preparing and sharing a meal rounds out our inventory at both locations.

Up ’til now, the variety, quality and freshness of our herbs, spices and other products have just not been available elsewhere, and we have been shipping goods to discerning customers who can’t make it into our stores for many, many years. It has been a cheerfully haphazard process involving emails back and forth and credit card information over the phone, and we are very pleased to announce that we now offer secure and convenient on-line shopping on this site.

Shadel Haddad takes over the position of Manager at South China Seas


After several challenge-filled years as Store Manager, Marième Mbenge took some time off to travel over the summer and is currently back at school with the intention to explore other career options – we miss her enormously, both personally and as a colleague, and wish her all the best in her new endeavors.

We have asked Shadel Haddad to take on the expanded position of Manager at South China Seas – in addition to the overseeing the operations of the two retail stores, he will be working with Don and Joyce to better integrate brick and mortar operations with rapidly growing e-commerce sales.

In addition to having all of the administrative skills that the job requires, Shadel has exceptional people skills – customers love him, and he has been essential to our efforts to forge an even stronger and more cohesive staff team.

Shadel is a recent graduate of Northwest Culinary Academy’s Professional Culinary Arts Program, and he has been instrumental in invigorating our weekend demo and sampling program. He will also be assisting with the extension of South China Seas’ product lines.

Atsuko Mihoshi will ably carry on as our Assistant Manager, with a primary focus on product excellence and inventory management.