We're just about to open our corner shop here in Krakow, and while this seems like the next chapter in our story, there's a bit more happening behind the scenes. In actuality, this month marks a one year anniversary for us and we felt that this might be a good chance to share a little bit more about what we've been up to.
As you know, we've been running various retail locations and concepts throughout Krakow over the past few years. Ah, the highs were indeed high, but as with any journey, there were also low moments. And when you throw in a lockdown, coupled with a business environment that at times feels backward, things do not go as planned. But you adapt and figure things out along the way.
So, let's rewind and review the twists and turns that brought us to this point in our story (of course there is a larger prequel to this story, but we'll save that for a later post).
Experimenting with New Ways to Package and Deliver Food
In 2021, as things started settling down after the lockdowns (remember that?), our team began to reimagine our business. We started experimenting with different ways to package our food to sell online. We tested a variety of different dishes, from banchan and prepackaged meals to drink concepts and sauces. We also experimented with different delivery methods, from third-party delivery apps to our own website.
We learned people love the taste of simple Korean foods, and they appreciated the convenience of having it delivered. We were even getting inquiries all over Europe.
Finding a Unique Cut of Meat: LA Galbi
During these tests, we met some friends who would also take part in the journey. Soon after, we found several food factories across Poland that could prepare our food concepts and ideas.
To showcase our abilities we started with a product that was known for its unique cut and that would help set us apart.
We decided we would introduce LA Galbi, a Korean-style short rib that is sliced laterally across the bone. This cut of meat is known for its tender texture and flavorful marinade.
Obviously there were some challenges here: It wasn't easy finding a factory that could adapt to the specialized cuts and recipes that we required. While we worked out the kinks with the factory, we started reaching out to markets and restaurants across Europe to gauge interest in our food products.
(LA GALBI & LABEL - First sample May 2022)
To our delight, one buyer after another expressed their enthusiasm. They shared their experiences working with local butchers and the challenges of relying on a single source for a particular cut. We spent the summer of 2022 traveling, sending samples, and meeting with these buyers. By this time last year, we had secured orders from markets across Europe.
(SEOULKID LA GALBI - Packaged at Factory June 2022)
We knew our ability to deliver specialized cuts would pave the way for a broader introduction of popular KBBQ products that are full of authentic flavors and conveniently packaged. This is where things took an interesting turn.
Just as we were pondering how to bring the next concepts to life, A.I. (yes, that A.I.) arrived on the scene. Its timing couldn't have been more perfect. But this part of the story will have to wait.
Seeing your food product at the shop for the first time… hits different 👊✨
Now that you have a little more context about why we're celebrating an anniversary, we're excited to open our new store in Krakow. We're a few weeks away... This store will give us the opportunity to share our food products that we've been working on and present them in a way that our followers here in Krakow can enjoy. We'll also use it as a way to give you guys a firsthand taste of our flagship Seoulkid KBBQ products before they make their way to stores across Europe.
We hope you've enjoyed this story, and if you did, we invite you to join our email list so you won't miss out on the exciting continuation of our journey. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we'll reveal the details of our pre-marinated food products. Subscribe now and be a part of our adventure!