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.

Meet our Management Team

Shadel Haddad (right) is the Manager of our Victoria Drive Commissary and Store. He is a graduate of the Northwest Culinary Academy’s Professional Culinary Arts Program. In addition to contributing to the extension of South China Seas’ spice blends and condiments product lines, he plays a key role in assisting Don at South China Seas popular International Cooking Class Series. In addition to Shadel’s administrative and culinary skills, 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.

Assistant Manager Lukius Kailamang (left) holds primary responsibility for managing our extremely busy flagship store in the Granville Island Public Market. Lukius keeps the store running smoothly by keeping a handle on a large and complex inventory, ensuring that the store and the merchandise within it are always well presented, and training staff and coordinating their efforts. Lukius’s training at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts enables him to play a key role in providing staff with the product knowledge they need to serve our customers effectively.

James Wallace (centre) is our Customer Service Manager. In addition to leading by example, James, through formal training sessions and ongoing mentorship, ensures that all South China Seas staff members are able and ready to provide store visitors with an exceptional customer experience. James is a trained sommelier and knowledgeable cook, and he, Lukius and Shadel, enthusiastically share their culinary knowledge and passion with staff and customers alike, and make an indispensible contribution to the food culture at the heart of South China Seas.