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Our Story


Xiem Can (rural coastal village), Bac Lieu, Vietnam

Hen Long, whom family calls “Dad” or “Grandpa,” started a new job as a fisherman. But, a few months later the family had to flee to the city centre of Bac Lieu due to the family residence being bombed.


City centre, Bac Lieu, Vietnam

Hen Long started a vegetable farm selling to neighbours and in public markets.


Hen Long inherited his father in law’s small business storefront and turned it into a grocery store.


The Communist government took over South Vietnam, and seized all funds, including Hen Long’s.

Nov 9, 1978

Hen Long and his family left all their meager belongings behind, and fled Vietnam in hope of a better life. In the dead of night, they bribed a soldier, and hastily boarded an overcrowded boat that was ill-equipped for sailing. 

Nov 12, 1978

The boat survived turbulent sea and pirating, and arrived at one of Malaysia’s islands. The boat was denied entry and had to set sail to another island.


Nov 13, 1978

The boat landed on Cherating, Malaysia, which was an uninhabited island at the time of disembarking. The family stayed there for 5 months, amidst Malaysian military presence.

*With the continued escape of many other Vietnamese peoples, the area eventually became the Cherating Refugee Camp, where people set up shanties and lived in primitive conditions.  



The United Nations came to bring Hen Long & his family to Kuala Lumpur, where they were interviewed to be sponsored to Canada under refugee status

Displaced Persons Registration Card

May 10, 1979

Arrived in Chilliwack, BC, grateful to have survived, but starting afresh from nothing. 


Hen Long’s children over the age of seven worked multiple laborious jobs after school to contribute to the family’s wellbeing. The jobs included delivering newspapers, picking berries and mushrooms, altering clothing, washing dishes at local restaurants, and cleaning chicken coops and Fraser Valley School. Eventually, some went on to work at Zellers and Minter’s Garden.  

December 1983

Hen Long Oriental Gifts & Foods opened its doors as a family business in a tiny unit located in the plaza beside where Tengoku Surrey is today (10224 – 152nd St, Surrey). 


The business grew, and an opportunity came for Hen Long also rent the neighbouring unit to expand the business.


Our customer base continued to expand allowing us to open a new 5000 sq ft location. From this location, we were able to import more goods internationally, and help our immigrant customers feel a sense of home.


December 2011

The building construction of our current location was completed, and we have been able to provide numerous other services, including healthcare, and legal services to this Surrey neighbourhood, and beyond. 


June 2012

Our Pink Lotus label became trademarked, and is our first in-house brand for dry food products.


November 2012

Our Lucky Boat label became trademarked, and is our in-house brand for frozen produce items



The branding for City Mangos was developed. Hen Long’s 10-year-old granddaughter named the brand while watching Star Wars. These mangos from Mexico continue to grow in popularity and can be found at many other grocery businesses.


September 2015

Our Captain’s Choice label became trademarked, and is our in-house brand for frozen ready to eat items