Name: Heui Jeong
Title: Owner and chef at Haru Korean Kitchen
Organization/Business: Haru Korean Kitchen
What do you do and how did you get here?
I am a co-owner of Haru Korean Kitchen along with my mom, Emmyli. Before settling here in Gastown, we had imagined the Haru concept and knew exactly what the restaurant would be. The next thing was to find the right location and we started looking around the city in late 2014. It wasn’t easy. The funny thing is, we looked everywhere else, except Gastown, thinking it would be too expensive. We were almost ready to give up, when one morning my brother found a listing for this location (324 Cambie St.) on Craigslist. It was a little more than our budget but I believed that it just might work given the excellent foot traffic, vibrancy and community that is here in the neighbourhood.
What inspired the name and concept?
The name has two meanings/associations; the first – it’s the name of our cat! Secondly, it is a Korean word for “day” (which also means “spring” in Japanese). Our logo is a bowl with a sun and a moon. We were inspired to create a meal of the day concept within a simple, home styled environment.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
I would spend my time in one of the many amazing coffee shops here in the neighbourhood. I love Birds & Beets and Revolver. Long before I became a business owner, it was the cafes, the great coffee and the boutiques that would bring me to Gastown again and again.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
I love just walking around the neighbourhood with my friends. We always have a great time together in Gastown. I love the buildings, vibe and culture that is found on every street.
What’s your most memorable happy moment or experience in Gastown?
There was this one night in the summer when I was hanging out with my friends. We had met at Crab Park and slowly made our way into Maple Tree Square. As the sun set and night fell, the lights in the trees all came on at once. Water Street seemed so romantic and dreamy. It was beautiful.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
Go with the flow. If it’s meant to be, then it will happen. It’s important to keep an open mind and to try and learn new things. I never imagined I would be a business owner here in Gastown with all the responsibilities and rewards that go along with it. But here I am. I believe it’s a result of not forcing things. Just staying open and letting life unfold.