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Oct 12, 2011 06:58 PM

Freshia Market in Torrance now SMart

Freshia in Torrance was closed down last month and has now opened up as SMart. Basically almost the same setup as the old market with the exception of the produce department. Prices are about the same but the store inventory looks better. The prepared marinated meat section is still there as well as the seafood section. Was pretty crowded for a week day with several sample tables offering lots of freebies.

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  1. Well, that was a sudden death of Freshia. They closed down the two Orange County stores and retrenched to their last outpost in Torrance. I guess that wasn't enough to save them. Sad.

    Did SMart add back a few aisles of shelving and re-stock the inventory that Freshia removed? Or is it still the same Soviet-era style of thinly stocked shelving during the last months of Freshia?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Professor Salt

      From what I saw yesterday, the shelves were more heavily stocked with the same items but the produce section was a little different. The frozen meat section looked the same as well as the kim chee area. I think they may have added a few more live fish tanks but the counter basically looks identical. The store was filled with people possibly with the addition of several food vendors giving out samples? I didn't see any soju where it formerly located but maybe I overlooked it? Anyway, I hope this place does well and not go the same route as Freshia.

      1. re: Clinton

        We went to Freshia somewhat regularly, but over the last month or so, we noticed the parking lot to be nearly empty - thanks for the update. The prepared marinated meat section was always a stop for us, and some of their prepared foods made for a quick meal at home.

        I don't know the marketing angle of SMart, but I think Freshia seemed to be somewhere in the middle. They didn't have great prices in general, and the service was not so great as well. When some of the food vendors were pushed out, we thought it was a bad idea. IMHO, where ever and when ever possible, food courts are a plus to an Asian market's schematics - one stop eat/shop/go. Asian folks in general consider food to be an integral part of their "fun" time - it's almost considered recreation - they to integrate food into as many aspects of their daily lives. At the same time, the Chinese and Korean communities can be very price-driven. Asian food businesses have to cater to those desires in one way or another...

    2. Thanks for the report! I noticed that it had reopened as SMart, but I didn't realize it was still a Korean market. I'm so happy to hear that since the marinated meat section is way better than Hannam's. I'm going to check it out on the way home! Are any of the food stalls back?

      1 Reply
      1. re: heinous

        I liked Freshia. When it opened the food court was good with the Korean Fried Chicken place ( forgot the name Kyochon or something ) the sushi guys with the $3.99 lunch special rolls were nice guys. In fact I was there the last week they were open ( the sushi guys were there ) but the store was empty. Hope they made it through the change. Not the best sushi in any sense, but the guys were really nice. I always got the Fish Salad too.. Hwe bim bap.. Any way Freshia had good meat, fish and produce and excellent prices. Just did a Google of S-Mart and all I see was Save Mart a part of Albertsons. I know its not that chain. Anyway, cant wait to check it out. I really like the place and if SMart is close or better, for us SB folks great. Olympic and Vermont is a haul...