99 Ranch or Tawa supermarket in Chinese was established in 1984 by Mr. Roger H. Chen. Due to
the demand for Asian food in the area, Mr. Chen opened the first store in Westminster, CA (Little
Saigon). In the past twenty years, Tawa has provided oversea immigrants with their hometown
flavors. It is a chain of twenty-one full-service stores all over California in Anaheim, Arcadia,
Cupertino, Daly City, Fremont, Gardena, Hacienda Heights, Irvine, Milpitas, Monterey Park,
Richmond, Rosemead, Rowland Heights, San Diego, San Gabriel, San Jose, Van Nuys, and
Westminster, and one store in Seattle, Washington. Tawa has also successfully opened
independent licensee stores in Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, and Indonesia.
The English name "99" pronounced in Chinese as "jiu jiu" means longevity. Reported Patricia Leigh Brown (The New York Times, Mar. 24, 2003), the malls where 99 Ranch stores are located, represent a classically California blending of old and new, exotic and ordinary. Shoppers come from as far as Sacramento, 72 miles away to the Pacific East mall where 99 Ranch is located at Richmond, just on the border of El Cerrito, known as "little Taipei", which has a population of 24 percent Asian. Also reported Brown, the Chinatown is for the old immigrant; 99 Ranch is for the new. The age of the typical shopper is 35.