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Boost your immune system and maintain a healthy mind and body with [Happy More Market, Tropical Shop (Ginowan City)]
post : 2021.09.15 02:00
The Popular Happy More Market’s Second Location is Now Open
Happy More Market is a farmer's market situated in a residential neighborhood in Ginowan City and is a popular spot for both locals and visitors to Okinawa. With more and more people focusing on boosting their immunity in the wake of COVID-19, the market has seen a jump in sales of 140% from last year! Sales total per customer has also increased to 110%.
With such a strong following, Happy More Market Tropical Store, the second location of the Happy More Market opened within Ginowan Yui Marche in February of 2021. The size of this new shop is twice the size of the first and main location. Mizuki Ganaha, the shop manager says, “There were various types of products that we couldn’t offer at our main store, like fruits, vegetables, and different frozen and refrigerated goods because we simply didn’t have the equipment. We wanted to expand our merchandise selection to our customers, and so at this Tropical Store, we want to continue to challenge ourselves and try new things.”
Inside the market, you’ll find fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs direct from the farm, as well as processed foods, Bento lunch boxes, baked goods, seasonings, and more. They have over 3,000 registered farmers that they work with and that’s how they manage to offer rare types of vegetables that we don’t see at regular supermarkets. Just looking around in the store is fun and interesting.
Signs in different colors offer easy-to-understand information on the farming environment of the produce.
On the packaging are labels that show the levels of pesticides and chemical fertilizers used in the farming process.
For example, red markings are applied on produce grown free of both pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and yellow is used for those grown without pesticides but uses under 50% of the standard level in chemical fertilizers. This system was adopted by the market to offer their customers to “easily choose the items that meet their own standards.” Each item is marked one by one after gathering the necessary information from the farmers.
The pop-up signs handwritten by the market’s staff offer information on the products and how best to prepare them. Many customers appreciate these signs and use them for reference when shopping for various items. Ganaha-san explains, “The staff here have the opportunity to talk directly to the farmers and hear about the particular ways that they grow their produce, so we feel that it’s our duty to relay this message to our customers.”
The market keeps true to its concept of being “the cheer squad for small-scale farmers.” They always keep in mind to create and maintain a positive and ideal three-way relationship between the business, farmers, and the customers.
A must-buy at Happy More Market: Ripened banana cakes.
One of the top sellers at Happy More Market Tropical Store is their Kanjuku (fully ripened) Banana Cake. They’re so popular that they have to make several batches throughout the day to keep up with the demand, and on the weekends, they sell around 600 of these delicious cakes. The regular shoppers at the market never forget to pick some up when they’re there.
Generous amounts of ripened bananas are blended into the dough and using carefully selected ingredients like Mainichi-no Komeyu (rice-bran oil) that doesn’t oxidize easily, EM eggs, Okinawan cane sugar. The fluffy and moist banana cakes are not only tasty but also gentle to the body and are cherished by their customers, young and old. The sweet and rich aroma of the bananas makes this popular item simply irresistible.
Herbal smoothies for a healthy body.
Another popular item available at Happy More Market is their smoothies made with lots of fresh produce.
Their SP (special) Herbal Smoothie is a favorite among smoothie connoisseurs and contains ingredients like Komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), mugwort, Sakuna leaves, manjerico, fringed rue, seasonal herbs, pineapple, lemon, banana, fruit enzymes, and others (ingredients vary daily).
Customers flock to Happy More to get their hands on their special smoothies to enjoy the complex aromas, unique bitterness, and acidity of the various herbs, and you can almost feel your body detoxifying with each sip.
They also offer healthy Bento boxes, different types of bread and pastries, too. What they offer vary according to the day, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you’ll find their popular Curry Bento, prepared with lots of vegetables. They receive many customers that swing by just to pick up their delicious Curry Bento.
And you wouldn’t want to miss out on the various events and retailers that come to offer their wonderful goods every month.
On the day that I went to gather information for this article, [COBORING Doughnuts] had set up their stand in the shop. COBORING offers doughnuts prepared without eggs and with organic Australian flour blended with Okinawa’s own pesticide-free flour. As soon as they set up shop, there was a line of people eagerly waiting to purchase their very popular doughnuts and in a blink of an eye, they were sold out. People also headed to the other booths too, picking up Napoli Pizza prepared with Okinawan ingredients offered by [Pizzeria de ENZO], and delicious and healthy kimchi from [UMAGON], a Korean restaurant. Each month, they have such fantastic things that you’ll find yourself coming back to Happy More time and time again.
“We plan to do more and more events that will connect the farmers and food industry with the customers,” say the people at Happy More Market Tropical Shop. Here, you’ll find tasty, fun, and healthy choices to enhance your every day.
Happy More Market Tropical Shop
Address: Ginowan Yui Marche, 7-1350-81 Oyama, Ginowan City, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00 to 18:00
Closed: End of Year/New Year’s Holidays
*Prices quoted are current as of July 2021.
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko Tachi.