Ted Oto started his business back in 1959, when he opened up his first meat and fish business at Vina Vista Market on 14th Avenue in Sacramento. In 1979, Ted expanded his business to include groceries and purchased Food Center on Freeport and Fruitridge. Outgrowing that space, in 1985, he relocated a few blocks, which was then the Cortyard Shopping Center, and renamed his business to Oto’s Japan Foods, specializing in Japanese food, produce, quality meat and fish and with wife Mollie on a two burner gas stove, added fresh bento and sushi.
Ted always knew that one day he wanted to build a store and continue to build a business that he hopes will be passed onto future generations and support the growing Asian community in Sacramento. The opening of Oto’s Marketplace is the beginning of a long time dream of Ted, passes the baton down to the next generation, as well as integrates the change of times to a traditional family business.
Although the business has grown over the years, Oto’s Marketplace still has the heart of a family run business. Ted continues to keep an eye on the business, while wife Mollie runs the kitchen operations and recipe development, son Russell is the store General Manager, son Michael operates all aspects of the specialized meat and fish department, daughter Florence Oto-Wong, a peace officer for Sacramento County also assist in the kitchen during the evening and weekends and daughter Cheryl Inouye, a Chief Financial Officer in Los Angeles, assists with many aspects of the Finances of the business.
The growth and success of the business continues to thrive with the help of an amazing extended family of employees, supportive spouses, relatives and friends as well as all of their new and loyal customers!