Young Jong NamGoong didn’t know much about owning a restaurant when he came to Canada, but with 20 years behind him in Korea selling fruit and vegetables in his small market, he knows fresh produce when he sees it. Young Jong opened Song’s Korean Restaurant in May 2010 and has been meticulous about selecting quality produce and organic eggs for dishes served in the small, bright restaurant. With strategically placed potted flowers and plants outside the door, his taste for freshness is evident even before entering the restaurant.
Young Jong’s wife, Jung Ja Song is the cook for the quaint business and shares enthusiasm for Korea’s food culture of easily digestible main dishes. “Everything is boiled, leaving no traces of bacteria or need for frying. We make our own broth for seasoning, which gives flavour and further aids with digestion.”
The couple came to Halifax in 2006. They were immediately drawn to Halifax as a gateway city for its pace of life, its historic backdrop and potential for attracting tourists and students. When they came across an opportunity to buy a restaurant on Quinpool Road, they knew they could transform it into a Korean location proudly showcasing their food culture with an emphasis on quality and service. “With our background and skills, a restaurant was a natural choice for us.”
“Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia helped us with the technical support we needed to get started. They provided language, start up and advertising support. We keep in touch for ongoing support and guidance as needed and we know they are there when we have questions.”
Young Jong offers words of wisdom:
“Don’t be afraid of challenges. Challenge brings many fruits; it brings knowledge, builds networks, provides access to information, builds confidence and strengthens your situation. Embrace your challenges and allow them to help you grow as a person and as a business.”