Koreana Plaza Market Visa Program:  Company History 

Visa Program

Koreana Plaza Market operates two of the largest Korean grocery markets in Northern California.  We provide a variety of merchandise including produce, meat, frozen foods, housewares, and handmade Korean dishes.  We are currently a 125 employee strong company.

Our customers and employees are of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  Our employees speak Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and English.  Together we work to provide the best quality, price and service to our customers and a positive work environment.


Company History

  • 1969:  The store was established in an 800 square foot space at 1125 Webster Street in Oakland as the first Korean grocery store in the East Bay region.
  • 1977:  The store was purchased by Charles and Patricia Schweng.
  • 1982:  Patricia Schweng doubled the size of the grocery store to 1600 square feet of retail space.
  • 1988:  Patricia sold the Oakland store to her brother, B.J. Yu, the current company's president, with a yearly sales volume of $600k.
  • 1995:  In response to community demand, B.J. Yu more than doubled the size of the store to 3300 square feet and grew sales to $2.5 million.
  • 1997:  B.J. Yu relocated the grocery store to 2370 Telegraph Ave in Oakland.  He more that tripled the size to 12000 square feet of retail space to meet the increasing demand for Korean products from customers who live throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and grew sales to $5 million.
  • 2001: B.J. Yu purchases the lot across the street to provide additional parking for the growing number of employees and customers. 
  • 2002:  B.J. Yu buys the neighboring building and opens 3000 square feet of additional retail space for housewares.  The business grows to $12.1 million.
  • 2003:  B.J. Yu opens a second grocery store with 30000 square feet of retail space at 10971 Olson Drive, Rancho Cordova in the Zinfandel Shopping Center.
  • 2004:  With both stores in full operations, annual sales grow to $20 million. 
  • 2006:  Koreana Plaza begins recruiting efforts in Korea.  Revenue growth is at $25.6 million.
  • 2007:  Koreana Plaza installs $1.5 million dollars in new refrigeration and shelves in both of the stores, expanding available shelf space for international groceries.  Sales grow to $30 million.