The Grand Bazaar Sunday Market on 77th Avenue and Columbus Avenue attracts vendors from all over New York City. However, the person behind the folding table may be a neighbor.
Founder of Shin Kim Cookies for usIs one of the locals who are expanding their business using the Grand Bazaar. She has been a member of the Upper West Side for nearly 20 years, baking vegan and gluten-free cookies in the kitchen of an empty apartment in her building on West 83rd Street.
“This is a solo exhibition,” Shin said of the cookie business he established last year after Pandemic closed its restaurant business.
Shin was on a winding path to entrepreneurship in the food industry. He began his financial career and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. “He was a great financier, but he was always thinking about food,” he said. He said, “Given he would regret his retirement, he wouldn’t go to a cooking school.”
That persistent idea led her to enroll in a weekend program at the Culinary Education Institute in Lower Manhattan. It was around the time of the financial crisis of 2008, and the recession caused her to completely switch her career from finance to food.
For Shin, working in a restaurant was a revelation. She said, “I learned the systems and disciplines used in my work, but I wasn’t used to using salt, cream and butter so much, so she returned to the Korean background.”
Shin grew up in Seoul and moved to the United States with his family at the age of 16. In her homemade meal, which she was accustomed to, “vegetables became the protagonist,” she said, and meat and fish were used more often as seasonings.
The focus on this vegetable goes back to Shin’s current company, which sells vegan cookies. She started experimenting with vegan food when the restaurant business got stuck because of a pandemic.
At first she was skeptical. “I felt that gluten-free and vegan products lacked flavor,” he said. “But I felt like I was using more kinds of more natural ingredients.” One trick he learned was to use flaxseed and chia seeds as egg substitutes.
Shin commonly sees the same skepticism in the markets where he currently sells baked goods. “As soon as I saw vegan and gluten-free, I noticed a lot of people switching. I was that person,” he said.
“And there are people who look at the sign and make their eyes shine. It’s an incredible feeling. When you look at the sign and come towards me, you know that you are my people. increase!”
Shin said direct interaction with customers in markets like the Grand Bazaar is important for getting feedback. The response was “encouraging,” but some people tell him that cookies are expensive. On the website, 6 packs are $ 34 and 12 packs are $ 60. “Everything is expensive and hard for a small business,” he said. “I want to make wonderful products that are born from the bottom of my heart, so I hope you understand.”
Shin will continue to open stalls in New York markets such as Bryant Park and Pier 17’s Hester Street Fair. “It’s great to see people answering questions face-to-face,” he declared. His next appointment at the Grand Bazaar is July 24th.
“It’s very difficult to find a place there, but I go to the Grand Bazaar once or twice a month for the rest of the year, and even more if allowed!”