In early 2015, [my mother Kate] was evicted — she felt desperate and scared. We took a really long walk around Manhattan, and she was like, ‘I always wanted to do this kimchi business.’
Our first production space was a basement restaurant kitchen in Bushwick — the restaurant let us come in at 4 or 5 in the morning till maybe noon. Within three months of our official launch, when we sold our first product to one Korean-owned bodega in midtown Manhattan, Whole Foods wanted to put us on their shelves. We didn’t really know where things were going, but we knew we needed to grow extremely fast to meet the demand. In 2016, we applied to Smorgasburg. But at the end of 2017, we came to a conclusion that we had to drastically downscale. We were only doing one farmer market stand in Park Slope, where we sold our kimchi and made pajeon, Korean scallion pancakes. By doing farmers markets, she had a new relationship with the other vendors and growers and access to local, fresh vegetables and ingredients. That’s when she was able to start making special kimchi, like purple radish, mustard greens or ramps.