An inside look: Von Son Asian Market

By: Ashley DeNardo

Von Son Asian Market in Morgantown opened in 2001, yet it isn’t well-known to those outside of the local Asian community. This video shows how to get to the store and what is inside.

Morgantown resident and WVU student Irina Crihălmeanu found out about Von Son only after her friend’s mother from Thailand brought them candy from the store when they were preteens.

“It was delicious and my mom asked where he got it from and he told us about the place,” she said.

While she has personally known about the store for some years now, she may never have without her connection to someone within the international Asian community.

‘To understand a culture, you must accept their food.’ -Andrew Zimmern

“I definitely think it’s important to the Asian community, just like Kassar’s is to the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean people (in Morgantown),” Crihălmeanu said. “Cuisine is a very important part of culture, so when immigrants come here it’s great that there are authentic places where they can buy things so they can keep their traditions.”

She also said if the location were better, people would probably check it out more frequently. Whether or not that’s something the owner would welcome is yet to be seen.

“There’s lots of neat stuff, and it’s so much fun to explore other cultures,” she said.

Walking through the store is like taking a stroll down a microcosm of the streets of East Asia. One can imagine the smells and sounds as you walk through street vendors in China or Japan.

“Seriously, when you step into there, it’s like you’re getting transported to China,” Crihălmeanu concluded with fond laughter.

6 thoughts on “An inside look: Von Son Asian Market”

  1. I thought this was a really cool topic and a really great story, Ashley! I’ve driven past that store over 400 times if I had to guess, and I’ve never once stopped in to see what it really was. It’s so cool to hear about how others found out about (like the candy…I’ll have to get me some of that). I think this story is the epitome of underground, because even though it’s right along the street, it’s so little known. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have actually been in this store once before and I was just amazed at all the different food. My boyfriend at the time was half Korean, so we went in with his mom to get food to make a Korean dinner. I had to have her explain so many things to me. And it’s HUGE. It’s like an Asian Kroger. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I know where I’m going first thing back next semester! I’ve been looking to get into more cultural foods, which is why I love traveling. That video was one of the coolest things I’ve seen and added to the blog tremendously. I bursted out laughing at the part when you said, “those are duck tongues” and left it at that. One thing that I found shocking was the location because that has to be one of the worst locations for a market. I’m sure most asians in the area are familiar with it though. Great job on this blog, I never knew this place existed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was so interesting! Like Angie, I’ve driven past it so many times and never given it a second thought. Last semester, I interviewed the couple that run Kassar’s, and not only were they so friendly and welcoming, but their store was so interesting! I loved seeing first hand the different cultures in Morgantown represented in the market. I’ll definitely have to check Von Son out! I also loved the video too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A few others mentioned this, but I’m the same in that I’ve never even thought of going in, mostly because that entire block of buildings look like they’ve been condemned for the past decade. Nice touch with the video!

    Like

  6. This video is so cool, awesome blog! I have never heard of this place and I wish I had because now that i’m graduating I don’t think I’ll get to make it there. I would definitely say this is a perfect example of “Morgantown Underground.” Good read, I enjoyed your feature.

    Like

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