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Shopper’s Corner customer spotlight: Akiko Minami

Presented by Shopper's Corner
Shoppers customer spotlight 5/23

Akiko Minami, a long-time resident of Santa Cruz, is a staunch advocate for supporting local businesses, particularly Shopper’s Corner. As a loyal customer for over a decade, Minami appreciates the store’s strong community ties and their commitment to providing high-quality products that cater to the preferences of their customers.

When asked about the significance of shopping local, Minami expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “Absolutely! I like being able to support businesses that have a connection with the community. Shopper’s definitely is connected with all the local farmers and other food and product providers.” She emphasized the store’s focus on locally sourced items such as fresh bread, pasta, salsas, tortillas, eggs, and more, which resonates with her values as a consumer.

If you’re new to the area go to Shopper’s; it’s a fantastic market with high-quality products and really friendly people.

— Akiko Minami

Minami commended the store’s management, singling out Andre Beauregard for his helpfulness in locating specific wines she had been seeking. She noted that Shopper’s has a deep understanding of their customers’ preferences and the ability to quickly adapt to new food trends. Despite its wide variety of products, Shopper’s maintains a welcoming atmosphere that is not overwhelming, a quality Minami truly appreciates.

As an avid cook, Minami shared her culinary interests, mentioning that she frequently prepares Japanese cuisine to expose her children to the culture and flavors of her heritage. At Shopper’s, she finds all the essential ingredients for her dishes, including wasabi, udon and soba noodles, sushi rice, miso paste, pickled ginger, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and nori. The store’s butcher section offers an array of meats like chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, and fresh ahi for sushi and poke, with butchers always ready to offer cooking tips and advice.

shoppers spotlight 5/23
(Paul Eisenberg)

Recognizing Shopper’s as an integral part of the community, Minami highlighted the store’s support for local schools by allowing fundraisers in front of the premises. Additionally, Shopper’s serves as a platform for raising awareness and gathering signatures on important issues up for vote, fostering a sense of community engagement. Minami also appreciated the friendly and welcoming atmosphere at Shopper’s, especially towards children. Her daughter, Emunah, feels confident shopping and interacting with the store’s staff, a testament to the store’s commitment to customer service.

In conclusion, Akiko Minami’s dedication to shopping local and her positive experiences at Shopper’s Corner highlight the importance of supporting community businesses. Her story serves as an inspiration for residents and visitors alike to embrace the local economy and build meaningful connections with the businesses that serve their community.

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Get to know Akiko Minami

Akiko Minami, 10-Year Customer, Santa Cruz
Occupation: E.A. Hall Social Studies Teacher
Hobbies: Walking/hiking/being out in nature, traveling, reading, cooking, hanging out with friends and family

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Recipe of the Week

Juicy Roasted Chicken


  • 1 (3 pound) whole Mary’s chicken, giblets removed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder, or to taste
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 stalk celery, leaves removed


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Place chicken in a roasting pan; season generously inside and out with onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Place 3 tablespoons of butter in chicken cavity; arrange dollops of remaining butter on the outside of chicken.
  • Cut celery into 3 or 4 pieces; place in the chicken cavity.
  • Bake chicken uncovered in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone, should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  • Remove from the oven and baste with drippings.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for about 30 minutes before serving.

Shopper's corner store hours: 7am-8pm


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