Interview With Susan Park


Or those of you who are foodies and I know if you don't consider yourself a food, do you like food? Some of our most popular episodes are when we bring on people who own restaurants or who are chefs and my guest today. Is kind of a combination. She's not a chef. She's married to a chef. This is Susan g young park, and she and her husband are the owners of a very unusual Taco place near the campus is called. I think I'm saying this right Revolucionario? Is that correct? Yes, it's a revolutionary on North African Tacos on. At one, four, three, six, West Jefferson, boulevard currently were only open on weekends, Saturdays, and Sundays for pick up orders only from noon till three, and actually I am a chef to learn more. Oh okay. Okay. Yeah. Well, you know, I definitely want to do a deep dive. Into, your establishment. But you know since we're recording this in early May and is still during the whole shutdown, and this is a restaurant I gotta ask you because we'll put this out relatively soon. This episode I have to ask you like, how has it been for you guys with the shutdown with the limited time that you're open. How's that going? It's been very, very asymmetric call. Because I also have. Started a nonprofit at the end of February and a lot of people keep asking me how I knew to start early with the Asian. American. Specific food. Bank. It's because I am an Asian American person. Who? WHO also owns also Asian American owner. And I. My restaurant is near USC SO I. Get to talk to a lot of. Asian, American, and Asian international students. So my restaurant very community driven. So. As an Asian American person business owner and somebody who speaks to Asian American students in Asian international students on a regular basis. You know I could feel the of sacks of you know, the the Wuhan Virus China virus. Right one international news broke in in December, and I can feel it affecting my business to I can feel it affecting my business, my in store business just tanked. I made it by with a lot of lot of catering more because they kept asking my customers helped me out catering orders than. And then a lot of a Chinese American students in particular in Chinese. International. Students who come to my restaurant. Started telling me. They just felt really anxious and they had a feeling of like just more isolated, and also I also do a lot of tenants advocacy work I've been in touch with CCD in. Chinatown. MOM since last year I helped him out occasionally with things at the request as I could see for myself, I mean. Koreatown didn't get hit that bad. Early, a chinatown business in Chinatown just tanked. You know at in December and January some restaurants. It was like ninety nine percent down the streets were empty. There's nobody. And then my friends from the San Gabriel Valley started reporting. The business was down in the San Gabriel Valley. And then it rolled into Korea town. So Koreatown was hit a little bit later. By declining sales and then in my restaurant to. So January usually means like a huge surge in business. And a lot of my customers are international students, not as Asian international students, but international students because my husband is also he's a French born Algerian Berber and Berbers indigent people to North Africa. So we also have a lot of European customers in African customers, and because we're North African Taco restaurant, we also have a lot of Mexican Latin next customers so very international. We hear a lot of news from everybody to because we're, I'm a owner operators on that restaurant every day that it's open. So I'm in touch with just. So many different communities. And just business was just was not picking up and beginning in January I started. Reducing, my restaurant hours drastically because it just wasn't worth it. It just wasn't worth it to old. You know just to get all that going and it was like this is not what any you know So then I started my food bank initiative I started I started my bag initiative before a stylish on nonprofit. Net Song early I. Think I met her Nebi. Rarity. A month after I had started my brown bags for all skid row initiative. Because wins, virus news broke of a mysterious virus mysterious You know that's a scare scare tactic. In China and it's highly infectious in know we live in a global village? and. Experts have been warning about pandemics for a long time and America wouldn't be prepared for one. So my first thought in January was to start my Brown Dad's for everyone initiative for skid row because in an era of pandemic, who do you want to help the most? I, I mean, who should you be healthy? It's the most vulnerable people were most exposed. Then it's going to be homeless in the House to people. And who are the poorest of the poor, the an housed I mean, it's the black residents. Elderly residents are skip Vo. So I, the Brown. Doctrines, round that for everyone initiative really took off fast because the idea was catchy. People could wrap their mind around like Paquito, Brown bag lunch. You know. So I, had neighborhood associations like four hundred members hanging. Why? Why can't all of us do like ten Brown bags? That's four thousand bomb. Gad's already

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