APAHM: Ryan Kim of Kim’C Market
Throughout Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re talking to inspirational Asian Americans who are at the forefront of cultural preservation and innovation in their field. These include our own partners and clients, but also those in the industry who we recognize and support.
Here, we caught up with Ryan Kim, Founder & CEO of Kim'C Market — a premium Korean specialty goods e-tailer and a District One client.
Born and raised in South Korea, Ryan first moved to the States for school. After his uncle passed away, he found a need to provide his uncle’s children with access to the wholesome Korean ingredients he had grown accustomed to back in Korea. So he founded Kim’C Market in 2019 as a one-stop shop for all things premium Korean food products and ingredients. Working directly with small producers and makers in Korea to ensure all products are of the highest quality and to build relationships with the folks who make the products, Kim’C Market empowers not only local economies throughout Korea, but also their customers in the United States by providing them with the knowledge they need to introduce fresh, holistic Korean and Asian ingredients into their everyday cooking.
On being an Asian American business owner.
My contribution back to America, the country we all love, [is] at least in two ways. Through my small market, I lead to improve the qualities of Americans — not just of Korean or Asian Americans. Kim’C Market not only provides wholesome ingredients and food but also creates recipe content for customers to cook healthy, their own cuisines. I am also proud that my organization grows and creates jobs.
On values that culturally unite the Asian American community.
Love for family, and sharing meals with loved ones are universal. I think the challenges, social prejudices that immigrants face, make it easier to understand other people, especially fellow Asian Americans.
On what gets lost in the ongoing societal conversation about the rising hate crimes and the Stop Asian Hate movement.
The true identity of Americans. As former cabinet member Norman Mineta once told me, America is a tapestry. Every ethnic group adds different colors and unique characters and we all weave together to make a beautiful art. America is great not because it is homogeneous, but because it is heterogeneous.
To learn more about Kim’C Market, visit their website and follow them on Instagram.
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