9 Things You Should Know Before Shopping at Weee! for the First Time
Weee! revolutionized the Asian grocery shopping experience during the pandemic. While shoppers used to travel to their specialty grocery stores to stock up on their favorite instant ramens and bundles of scallions, being homebound for months meant they had to look for other ways to get those ingredients.
Enter: Weee!, which spread furiously via word of mouth and through online Asian and grocery-loving communities. Founded by Larry Liu, a Chinese immigrant who was struggling to find Asian groceries in his hometown of Fremont, California, Weee! launched in 2015 with the mission to expand grocery access to underserved communities. Now the largest Asian and Hispanic grocery store in North America, according to the company’s website, the online grocery delivery service brings those foods (and more) straight to your door. Not sure where to start? Here’s what you need to know before you shop.
1. You can shop for fresh meats and produce, just like at your local Asian grocery store.
Unlike some grocery delivery services that only offer shelf-stable pantry items, Weee! offers a wide selection of fresh produce, like yu choy and Asian pears, as well as fresh meat, like thinly sliced beef ribeye that’s perfect for at-home barbecue or hot pot.
2. It’s not just for Asian groceries.
There’s long been crossover in the Asian and Hispanic market shopping scenes (my Korean parents who live in the Los Angeles suburbs often shop at their local Mexican grocery store), so it’s a no-brainer for Weee! to serve the Hispanic community as well. The Mexican market was unavailable for me to shop from my Brooklyn zip code, but tons of Mexican products pop up in my parents’ zip code, including churro chips, chamoy sauces, and michelada mix.
3. The fruit selection alone is worth checking out (literally).
For me, Weee!’s fresh fruit offerings are the true standout, featuring citrus, berries, and melons that you’re unlikely to find at your go-to supermarket. Try the fresh passionfruit, load up on pounds of tiny key limes, and get your hands on that pink pineapple you’ve seen on TikTok or Hachiya persimmons (just in time for fall!).
4. You can easily shop by cuisine.
Since Weee! caters to different cuisines, the company makes it simple for shoppers to deep dive into its diverse offerings. Depending on your zip code, you can either click the store icon located in the top right corner on the site (top left in the app) or scroll to the bottom of the page to filter by cuisine. I love using this feature to see the entire selection of Korean instant ramens, Chinese sauces, or Japanese cookies in one place.
5. You’ll discover a whole grocery-loving community in its mobile app.
Weee!’s online website is easy to navigate and shop from, but it’s even more convenient via its native iOS and Android apps. You can add groceries to your cart straight from your phone, and discover new products via the growing community section, where customers share their reviews and home-cooked dishes. As someone who has an ongoing Note for their grocery list, I love that I can just add items to my cart as I think of things throughout the week, and then check out when I’m ready.
6. You can earn discounts just by sharing your grocery haul.
One of the more charming features of Weee! is that you can share your shopping list with your friends, who can then get a discount on the items you bought, and earn points back on their purchases, among other things. Each 100 points earns you $1 that you can cash in for future purchases. Coy about your picks? Weee! also offers a more standard referral system. Share Weee! with a friend and you can both get $20.
7. It’ll inspire you to break out of your cooking rut.
Whenever I make my weekly grocery store trip, I’m often at a loss about what to buy outside of my regular go-tos. I find myself spending an hour just wandering around the store, picking up random things that catch my eye, before returning home to wonder, “Will any of this amount to even one cohesive meal?” That’s why I find Weee!’s homepage so helpful: It separates products into appealingly convenient and relevant categories, like in-season produce (Fruits for the Fall Season) or dish-specific ingredients like galbi (Korean short ribs).
8. It’s expanding into the restaurant delivery space.
Weee! recently acquired Ricepo, the online Asian food delivery company, as it sets its sights on increasing food-at-home options. Currently, Weee! Bundles offers rotating packages of specialty ingredients and freshly prepared meals that are curated by local restaurants, beginning in the San Francisco and Seattle areas.
9. The company is truly excited about grocery shopping.
The online grocer is named “Weee!” (with 3 e’s) after the sound of delight that kids make when going down a slide or discovering a new toy. Shopping on Weee! is meant to incite the joy that you get when you find your favorite specialty grocery items, whether it’s a delicious snack from your childhood or an eye-opening new ingredient. The online retailer offers next-day delivery to 40 states across the country, but you’ll need to check the website to confirm if your area is included.
Are you a frequent Weee! shopper too? We’d love to hear your tips!