Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation: The Union Asian Market changes ownership, continues traditions

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, WI — The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay aim to provide a wide range of services, resources, and expertise to encourage entrepreneurial opportunities in Sheboygan County, including changes in business ownership that carry on the traditions of some of the county’s best and most cherished businesses.

With the assistance of the SCEDC and SBDC, Vanna Lor purchased the Union Asian Market, formerly known as Union Oriental Market, at 2022 S 17th St. in Sheboygan. The Union Asian Market specializes in bringing Asian goods and groceries, including hot takeout food, to Sheboygan County, serving and sharing authentic Asian culture with the local community.

The Market was founded in 1982 and was the first grocery store in Sheboygan geared towards the Hmong and Asian communities. With continued growth, the store relocated to its current location in 1999. The Union Asian Market has a rich history in Sheboygan County and intends to carry on with those traditions.

“We will continue to honor the legacy before us and enhance it by modernizing the retail and digital space, adding additional hot food menu items as well as goods and produce,” Lor said. “We look forward to feedback as to what the community needs so that we can bring it into the store and expand our offerings.”

SCEDC Business Counselor Ray York assisted with the Market’s ownership transition. From start to finish, Lor said the SCEDC was a vital resource in the process, making it a more seamless transition overall.

“The SCEDC has been a phenomenal resource. Buying a business is never straight forward and Ray York helped us navigate this complicated path from the very early stages to closing,” Lor said. “The depth of knowledge that he offered helped us write a business plan, finalize financial projections, understand financing options, and secure finances from resources that we didn’t even know existed.”

With the Hmong and Asian community growing in Sheboygan County, Lor hopes the Union Asian Market will continue to be a place for others to learn and share more about the culture behind the food. Lor said the Sheboygan County community has continued to support the Market and its important role in the community.

“As we took on the business, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a wide diversity of customers and that our culture is embraced. This inspires us to continue the legacy. We are passionate about remaining the leading source of Asian groceries and foods,” she said.

Looking forward, the Union Asian Market has many long-term goals for its growth in Sheboygan County. Lor said they hope to expand their offerings with a meat market, live seafood deli, and an Asian cuisine food court service.

While the store has a strong focus on Southeast Asian foods, Lor said additional Asian goods such as Japanese and Korean products will be part of their ongoing product expansion. Lor and her team intend to continue educating Sheboygan County about the Hmong and Asian communities through food and produce.

The SCEDC is excited to support the Union Asian Market as it continues to grow and expand in Sheboygan County, bringing the culture, values, and tastes of the Hmong and Asian communities to the county.

“If you’re ever unsure about starting a business, don’t let your hesitation and fear stop you. Consult with the SCEDC and they will be able to help guide you on your journey,” Lor said. “We could not be more appreciative of the SCEDC’s and Ray’s support of our business venture as we would not be where we are today without their guidance and expertise.”

To learn more about the Union Asian Market, visit their Facebook page or call (920) 457-0779. For more information about the SCEDC’s entrepreneurial services, call (920) 452-2479 or email Ray York at [email protected].

The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) is a public-private partnership leading economic, community, and workforce development efforts in Sheboygan County to improve the well-being and long-term prosperity of businesses, residents, and communities. Through technical assistance, the SCEDC leverages a variety of tools to encourage business growth, startups, investment, skill development, and talent attraction. By applying the appropriate resources, the SCEDC helps fulfill Sheboygan County’s growing economic and business needs.