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Japanese grocery to open in downtown Providence this spring

Maruichi Japanese Food and Deli will provide customers with Japanese staples, fresh produce

Japanese market and eatery Maruichi Japanese Food and Deli is set to open a new location in downtown Providence this spring. The store will replace Rory’s Market and Kitchen on 113 Washington St.

The grocery store will provide customers with Japanese staples — onigiri, sushi, bentos — fresh produce and a diverse array of meat and sushi-grade fish. The location, which will be open seven days a week, will also feature an in-store cafe carrying a selection of coffees, matchas and Japanese snacks.

Maruichi has yet to share an official opening date, but the location is slated to launch this spring. 

The Maruichi grocery chain began as a small business called Fuji Mart in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1991. Fuji Mart Corporation has since expanded into New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey.


The new grocer will be the chain’s first location in Rhode Island. 

“Maruichi is all about bringing the experience of shopping in Japan to American customers,” said Joshua Nakama, vice president of Fuji Mart Corp., in a press release. “We’re constantly searching for curious communities that are eager for our unique brand of authenticity and accessibility. We’re lucky to have found that in Providence.”

A Massachusetts native, Lloyd-Sho Akai-Dennis ’27 grew up visiting the Maruichi locations in Brookline, as well as other Japanese groceries like Ebisuya.

“I haven’t found the availability of Japanese grocery store items in Providence to be as good as I am used to,” he wrote in a message to The Herald. Akai-Dennis is particularly excited about the Japanese stationery, school supplies and appliances that he has seen available at other Maruichi locations.

Haruka Masamura ’25 typically sources her favorite Japanese staples from home, H-Mart or Maruichi locations in Boston, she shared in a message to The Herald. “There’s Good Fortune (in Providence), but I have the impression that they have more Chinese and Korean items than Japanese, and J-Life Mart only has a handful of pre-packaged food and snacks,” she added.

“Providence does offer Japanese food, (but) at the same time, it’s not necessarily affordable for everyone,” Nozomi Greimel ’27, who was born and raised in Tokyo, said in an interview with The Herald. “The prices are kind of crazy — they’re super high.”

Greimel fears that the high cost of items may “de-incentivize” people from going to stores that offer Japanese products and prevent them from learning about Japanese culture. She noted that many Japanese students have found less expensive options on Weee! — an online Asian supermarket which offers a delivery service.

For Greimel, Maruichi’s focus on Japanese food products may help present an “accurate reflection of what different Asian cuisines are,” she said.

“I feel like American restaurants tend to group together all Asian food and call it Asian fusion, or just Asian cuisine,” Greimel said. “In reality, depending on what part of Asia you’re from — (and) what part of what country you’re from — the types of ingredients we use, the type of diet, is just completely different.”

When it opens, the store plans to host unique community celebrations of Japanese culture by highlighting Japanese ingredients and cuisine. In previous years, the chain hosted food fairs highlighting imported products from Hokkaido, Tohoku and Fukushima, among other areas of Japan.


“Maruichi is excited to bring both the everyday and the hard-to-find of the Japanese culinary world to Providence and the Rhode Island community,” Nakama said in the press release.

“I’m hopeful (Maruichi) will be able to generate some cultural wealth in the area in ways that I’m unsure if Providence has in the past,” Akai-Dennis said.

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Tom Li

Tom Li is a Metro Editor covering the Health & Environment and Development & Infrastructure beats. He is from Pleasanton, California, and is concentrating in Economics and International & Public Affairs. He is an avid RIPTA passenger and enjoys taking (and criticizing) personality tests in his free time.

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