Market City Memoirs: 40+ Years of Community Spirit with Sandy Fong

Step into the heart of Market City Shopping Center’s rich history as Sandy Fong, the driving force behind its enduring legacy, invites us on a nostalgic journey spanning more than 40 years. Joining forces with her husband Marvin, Sandy made the shopping center into a vibrant community hub.

Sandy came on board as Marvin’s assistant, taking the job to allow more time and flexibility with their young children. She then moved to marketing and leasing, asking the board for a marketing budget to let the community know the Center was leasing to new tenants. Marvin and Sandy even took classes at Michigan State University to learn more about property management, marketing, and leasing. Through innovative marketing initiatives and strategic leasing, the Fongs revitalized the space, fostering a dynamic mix of tenants anchored by locally owned and operated Foodland.

“We both love our jobs and we’ve been here for forever,” Sandy says. “We have so much history at Market City!”

Sandy was very selective about their tenant mix, wanting only really good food, a great nail salon and exceptional groceries. The Fongs always included their kids in the Center’s special events, and now their sons are in the business with them.

“Some families are all doctors. Our whole family is in commercial real estate!” Sandy says with a laugh.

Sandy’s deep ties to the community extend beyond business, as she actively engages in philanthropy, supporting local schools and organizations. Growing up in Kaimukī and Kāhala, Sandy has always loved to give back to the community. For 10 years, the Center has given two to five annual scholarships to students in the area, and today they support the Hawaiian Humane Society.

“It’s a great community. People tell us they grew up there and I’m one of them,” Sandy says. “My grandfather used to take me to Chinatown for groceries, and then when Foodland opened, that’s where we would go. And here I am today, working here under the same monkeypod tree.”

Sandy eagerly anticipates welcoming Kuilei Place into the community, envisioning a friendly environment for new generations of shoppers. Before residents move into Kuilei Place, Sandy plans to reinvigorate the back of Market City Shopping Center to make it more pedestrian-friendly and safe for ‘ohana to make the five-minute walk away from their homes for great food or groceries. As Market City continues to evolve, Sandy remains committed to its growth and prosperity, ensuring it remains a beloved destination for residents and visitors alike.

Discover more about the amazing businesses at Market City Shopping Center today.