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Asian market, taqueria add diversity to Scarborough food options

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Asian market, taqueria add diversity to Scarborough food options

SCARBOROUGH — The owners of a new business hope Chinese broccoli, Korean barbecue and Cambodian stir fry will become a part of everyday shopping trips to Oak Hill.

Khiev's Oriental Market, a specialty Asian grocery store with fresh produce and diverse cultural cuisine, is scheduled to open at 253 U.S. Route 1 in early August.

It follows the recent opening of another ethnic-inspired eatery in the neighborhood, El Rayo Taqueria, which expanded from Portland.

Chanbopha Himm and her husband, Channdara Himm, both Cambodian, will soon finish renovating their space, the former home of Brown Fox Printing at the commercial plaza near Town Hall.

As they open their first market, the couple will accomplish a longtime dream.

Chanbopha, a financial counselor in the health-care field, and Channdara, a warehouse employee at Shaw's, live in Saco, and were inspired to create a family market in honor of their fathers, both deceased.

Chanbopha said cooking was her father's life. He was a chef in Cambodia in the 1970s, and a wedding chef in Massachusetts after he moved their family to the U.S. when she was 3 years old.

"If dad was still alive, he'd love it," she said of the market, which is named after her father.

Chanbopha said she hopes bringing an Asian market to town will inspire residents to explore foreign cuisine. She said she plans to provide cooking classes a few times a month, and may open a gift shop in the space above the market to sell Cambodian goods. 

"Scarborough needs something like this," she said. "I’d love to show people how to eat healthier."

El Rayo, Scarborough's only Mexican restaurant, recently opened just yards down the road from Khiev's on Route 1. If successful, the two could add some epicurean diversity to the area.

"We've had people coming up saying 'Thank God, I don’t have to go to Portland to get this kind of food,'" Chanbopha said. "We feel really welcome and we’re very excited to open."

Shelby Carignan can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or scarignan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @shelbycarignan.