Many of our loyal readers out there are already aware that Dave and I relish celebrating conscious and proactive entrepreneurs who are working to make a difference in the world while providing their services. Today I am thrilled to highlight a local Kootenay-based business with this wonderful discussion below.
We first met Narae Kang, owner of Kimchi Kitchen, when we spotted a post on social media where she was offering a fantastic opportunity for other local businesses – a free (10×6) vinyl decal displayed on their mobile kitchen unit. A little something for their customers to browse while waiting for their meal.
Coming from a marketer’s angle – I saw their selfless, non-promotional post as a great way to reach out to the community. Dave and I, for instance had heard of the truck but had not been customers yet – once we purchased a meal there however, we are definitely customers now. So are dozens of others who saw the post, they were so impressed that they responded saying they were coming down to purchase from the truck soon and calling out to others to support such a selfless business. So while Kimchi Kitchen’s intent wasn’t coming from a marketing angle at all… the result was that they gained popularity, attained increased exposure to a highly targeted market and they created a very strong networking system with dozens of other local businesses, including ourselves.
When Dave dropped off our ad decals, he also ordered the Sweet Chilli Chicken (see the image), which was delicious and so generous of a helping that Dave and I were fed for 3 separate meals – each! As you can see in the images, this dish came with these large, yellow pickled vegetables that had Dave and I guessing what they were. I was thinking perhaps Kholrabi or chestnut, using a tumeric based pickling brine. Dave guessed correctly – it was “… a Korean pickled Daikon (radish)”, Narae explained. “I use gardenia powder to make it yellow”.
I asked Narae to tell us a little about herself and this is what she had to say: “I was born in South Korea, moved to Canada after getting married to this amazing man in Calgary. It was our goal to move to Kootenay Region (BC, Canada) ever since we got married. Thanks to my husband’s carpentry skill and my enthusiasm for Korean food, we opened Kimchi Kitchen in May 2019.”
As an eco-conscious customer, I noticed the compostable take-out packaging right away and I became curious as to its composition. Narae explained that the entire food truck and street food industry is changing: “The clamshell containers are made out of sugarcane. Yes, they are expensive. But what’s amazing is, I am not the only one who uses these types of containers. Most of the food trucks that I know of also choose environment friendly packaging”.
As it turns out, there is a very practical reason for choosing these options. “Initially, my main goal was to go to the festivals and events in the Kootenay Region – like the Kaslo Jazz Festival or Starbelly Jam. Most festivals have zero waste policy, and I admire their efforts to save our environment. I wanted to join their movement. Although all those major events are cancelled due to COVID – I use wood forks and chopsticks instead of plastic ones.”
The couple’s dedication to the environment is admirable. “I have fully electric car; traded it with my truck last year. I am 1000% satisfied with my choice, and encourage people to go electric. It has tons of benefits. I also have 16 hens and a rooster. They take care of our kitchen scraps and give me gorgeous, healthy eggs in return. The rest goes to my compost bin. The chicken manure is given to neighbours who have a garden and they share some vegetables with me.”