April 22, 2024


World's finest Food

NJ’s Kam Man helped pioneer Asian supermarket wave

EAST HANOVER —The smell of barbecue and pan-fried buns radiates throughout the food court at Kam Man Food Market.   

It’s Saturday morning at the Chinese supermarket in Morris County. Chef Tony Huang and his staff are busily serving up roast pork buns, ducks, congee and other delicacies. A multiracial line of customers waits for the fresh, hot treats coming out of the kitchen.    

“It’s first-come, first-serve,” said Kam Man President Bill Woo. Delicious baked goods like egg tarts and pineapple buns are usually sold out by late afternoon, Woo said. If there are any leftovers, they’re given to the staff at day’s end – never resold the following day.

“In business, your reputation is most important and that reputation is accumulated through years and years of positive interactions with your customers,” said Woo, the trim, second-generation owner who’s also a councilman in Englewood Cliffs. 

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An Ivy League graduate who decided to return to the family business, Woo bought Kam Man’s East Hanover location in 2015 from his uncle. Now 44, he’s applying skills learned in international business to move trends in an ethnic foods industry that’s growing fast as America evolves.  

Woo grew up in the family business that his father Wanchi and his uncle Wellman founded in Manhattan’s Chinatown in 1972. Their first store was named Kam Kuo, which means “golden country” in Chinese.