On the first Saturday of February, 2018, we quietly opened our door to the public on Stargarderstraße 29. It was a bright sunny but chilly day. Heejoo and I were so nervous if anyone would ever show up to our store but we were delighted that several customers visited our store and much more to our surprise made purchase of our products. From then on it has been one year and everyday we are still having the same experience. We are taking an unknown journey with only the trust we have that in the end everything will all turn out to be just fine. Today I would like to report 3 topics as we reach our one year anniversary.
First is about our menus. We started with just 3 menus: popular bibimbap from Korea, most basic udon noodle dish from Japan, and Chinese Kung Pao chicken probably the most elaborate dish from the 3. These 3 menus taught us how to run a very simple business such as how and where to source the ingredients, how to handle these ingredients and package them in a sustainable ways. Even running a cashier machine was new for us so it gave us an opportunity to get adjusted to a new life. After a year into our operation, today we have 12 menus and plan to increase more as we move into our second year.
Next is about our BamGam project. For those who followed us from the early days know that we wanted this business not only as a money generating business, but also as a means for us to give back. So from day one we promised that every meal we sell, we would donate a meal for the needy. That is our “Buy a meal, Give a meal” project. Every time we sell one meal, we are donating one meal to the children in the developing countries. At the end of January 2019 where our first year ended, we donated through World Food Programme to support children of Rohingya conflict. We are very proud and we thank all our customers who also pitched in to make this possible.
Lastly, I would like to share our vision for the second year. Since this venture has all been self funded, either we need to move into positive cash flow soon (yes, we are still in the reds) or we need to find outside funding. We are not actively seeking investors yet, but if anyone knows somebody… we’ll be happy to discuss. As for moving into positive cash flow, we forecast to achieve it soon. Another vision we have for the second year is that we are exploring ways to become a platform for meal kit service. This is something that we are still testing and will post more about it as we develop more concrete structure.
We are working hard everyday to bring the best service to our customers. In the end, as Tony Hsieh said, we want to be a “customer service that happens to sell Kochboxes.” Our first year was amazing in that we created something from nothing. We hope this year will be the year where we bring this something into more stable business.
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