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Yummy Korea

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Yummy Korea - Ana, Kevin and Jae

When it comes to food, the words "happiness is always home made" or "nothing beats mom's cooking!" comes out of the mouths of many people. It's true, no meal is better than a nice home cooked meal.. unless you asked Jae, the son of renowned chef Ana Lee who regularly eats and assists at the restaurant "because mom makes home style even better at the restaurant!". This is the sort of delicious, passionate, made with nothing-but-love style of food you'll have the pleasure of eating at Yummy Korea. This restaurant goes above and beyond to taintalize their customers' taste buds with a unique blend of Korean & Japanese fused cuisine, and an excellent selection of hearty sandwiches.

Kalbi Ribs

Residing in the heart of downtown Richmond Hill, Yummy Korea offers an extremely inviting, clean and aromatic atmosphere which we always love!

Their over the top friendliness, delicious food and prestine upkeep of the restaurant makes them a real gem in these neck of the woods. Their reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and many other sources all over the internet speak wonders of their humble, yet confident execution of what they do best.

We did a mini Q'n'A with Jae, the son of lead chef Ana and Kevin who also assists with cooking, maintaining and marketing the restaurant. Here are some things he had to say to us:

1. What inspired your family to begin a venture on owning and running a restaurant?

​My mom, who started the business, was always into cooking for us and others. She had many years of experience cooking at various restaurants and finally decide to bring those unique skills to her own home style restaurant. Kevin, the co-owner of the business also came with several years of experience working with Japanese cuisine. They were never factory workers or anything else.. they've always worked in places like delis and restaurants. The two of them were also very entrepreneurial, and they realized that they could fuse their skills together and both combine this joint effort to do something they're really good at. She decided to bring those learned kitchen skills, and her traditional cooking knowledge together to run a successful restaurant.

2. If you were to describe yourself and your situation in business 5 years ago, what would you say it was like and how did that compel you to get to where you are today?

I noticed a big shift in trend between 5 years ago and now when it comes to people's eating habits. People are more health conscious these days compared to back then. People are starting the recognize the difference quality of food makes in their lives physically and emotionally, we were always on the side that helped people empower their healthier choices and feel good about the choice they made, while offering the same quality of taste or better compared to other meals they may have tried in the past. On a whole, humanity has improved its standards on what they want to put into their bodies for food. On our end, nothing really changed .. we still make the same sort of food as we used to 5 years ago except that now, people are more likely to choose us over a local fast food chain. 

5 years ago we didn't have a website, and our business was not called "Yummy Korea", as you know, it's been through a couple of names and evoluationary phases. It's so important nowadays to have a decent website compared to 5 years ago, the new brand Yummy Korea compliments our shift to embrace the online realm and reach out to as many people as possible now that we have the space, resources and ability to scale. While talking about things different in 5 years.. online presence and the experience on mobile is especiallllyyy so important. I had the intiial feeling that that's what you needed but I didn't realize the importance until I saw for myself with new customers ordering via the website, and new people calling directly from our contact page. I was hesitant at first, but I see at the end of the day it really matters nowadays more than anything.

3. Out of all the Korean / Asian restaurants out there, what do you feel makes you stand out the most out of the crowd?

Well... this aspect doesn't make us different from other Korean or Asian restaurants neccesarily, but in general we take a lot of pride in our in-house crafted sauces. Every sauce and gravy that goes on any dish is completely prepared from scratch with very unique blends that you wont find in other places... atleast not easily. We take a lot of time and use premium, quality ingredients. We don't cut corners, we don't add M.S.G, they're all really clean and delicious sauces! Also, compared to many other Korean restaurants, the cuisine that you get here is really not rushed and is a genuine home-made meal, the salt levels especially are much lower as we don't salt our meat, heck, mom makes it even better at the restaurant than she does at home! *laughs*

4. What sort of major technological hurdles did you have to overcome to become successful in your line of business?

To me, almost each aspect was a technological hurdle. It was extremely important to me to get someone who really knows their stuff with online technology right off the bat. I needed someone who really knew their stuff and most importantly.. someone I could trust completely to make sure they had my business' best interest in heart. You know I couldn't have done 80% of this without you guys right? If I did this by myself, I could very easily make a mistake and break everything! I don't think it could have turned out the way it did without professional assistance, especially for the website and aspects such as SEO optimization,  re-banding across multiple areas on the web and social interaction. Even from what I now know about how these things work, I STILL would go for the professional experience because it means getting things done quicker and efficiently. Then there's those scary unexpected situations... from server issues with my hosting company, to unexpectedly being hacked, to managing an increased traffic load without paying an arm and a leg to manage the increase, to getting our branding properly translated online - all of these the staff at MyRamani swiftly put in a solution for and ensured that we can scale for the future.

5. If you could go back to past Jae and let him know one vital piece of information to improve your present situation, what would it be?

There's a lot I would mention to my past self after so many years in the business, but, you know how you got to where you are right now is because of the things you cannot change... but the biggest thing I would mention is that my mom used to, in her past restaurants, always serve breakfast. The only issue with that is that there wasn't much money to be made in that and we didn't have many people showing up for breakfast compared to lunch and dinner. Though I'm happy that we had the opportunity to serve it, I would tell myself to just stick with lunch and dinner options sooner than later ... waking up super early really took a lot out of all of us, especially my mom who had to work day in and out and not see more than 1 or 2 people during the breakfast hours. 

6. In a world with a gazillion web development companies, what's the experience like working with us?

Regardless of who you're working with, you want to find someone who's passionate in their own industry as much as we are in ours. Doesn't matter if someone is cheaper or more expensive... all that matters is that they can properly do what is required. From my experience  - MyRamani knows exactly what's required, they do it in an efficient manner, but the coolest thing is that the service is really personalized! They really do make you feel like you mean something more than just a customer to them, not just another number in their system or long queues to get basic answers. An online presence is an ongoing thing - it evolves as our business does and it's important to have someone you can trust to maintain that pace and they do a really good job of it. Investing in personalized, quality service is well worth the investment!

Below is just a small preview of the amazing foods you'll find at this restaurant

The staff at MyRamani have watched this business and family grow from a simple coffee and ice cream shop, then to a sandwich shop called Richmond Deli, then to a restaurant called Fresh Food to Go which featured many unique types of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner time .. whether you wanted a killer eggs benny, a hearty soup, a simple but well made sandwich, or a fully stacked meal like a Bento Box or their famous Kalbi Ribs with the works of sides - this place had it all. In the video below, you can see the evolution and transition of this restaurant over the years.

Eventually, we watched them not only grow into Yummy Korea, but we also watched the success of their prior businesses allow them to physically expand their restaurant to accomodate more people, and evolve their cuisine to provide the best from all the past businesses making this restaurant only serve the best selection out of their many years of experience since 2007 with people's tastebuds. They're always upping their game by offering things like weekly specials, new menu items, and most impressively - bringing unique technology to make their customer experience more efficient.

Push Bell for Service

Shyam's faithful association to this restaurant has him saying "I've tried literally everything on the menu, and not a single item has disappointed me to date" to anyone who asks about the place. Collectively as a team, we've all gone in and tried almost everything together that they have to offer. More than just a client and a restaurant to us, this family is our home away from home... we are an extended family to Yummy Korea, and they are an extended family to the team at MyRamani. Throughout the years, we've done nothing but elevate each other to higher levels, and there's no reason for that to not continue for years to come!

We are amazingly proud to have helped this humble family reach their goals by helping them improve their presence on the web, being a loyal customer to them as they are to us causing an amazing personal relationship that goes well beyond just business, it blossoms into an extended family relationship.

To conclude, if you live in or plan on visiting the GTA and want to eat somewhere truly special, pay a visit to Yummy Korea and feast to your heart's delight!