“The Viet-Wah Supermarket was started in 1981 by Duc Tran, a refugee from Vietnam who arrived in Seattle in 1976.
In 1978, Tran worked at Chinese Information and Service Center. In 1979, he joined the Church Council of Greater Seattle’s refugee resettlement program. He was stationed at Sea-Tac Airport, helping interpret for new arrivals and processing their paperwork. These encounters convinced him of the need to start an Southeast Asian grocery.
Leeching Tran, Duc Tran’s daughter and vice-president of Viet-Wah, said, ‘We started the business when everyone from Southeast Asia was new to this country. In a way, the store and the community have grown together. We established ourselves together.'”