This is an impossible post to write. Our fearless leader and co-founder, Matt Choi, unexpectedly passed away October 25, 2020. A senseless tragedy. But, we remember his life – full of ambition and love.
He loved his family, he loved his friends, he loved his mom, and he loved her kimchi so much he shared it with the world. In just ten short years we watched Choi’s Kimchi grow from a humble booth in the Portland Farmers Market to a wholesale specialty food manufacturer with our kimchi, sauces, and pickled products found in stores and local restaurants throughout the Northwest. He was behind every decision here; every part of this company was his heart and soul. Once Choi’s Kimchi was formed, he never looked back and sacrificed most of his Saturday mornings (and Friday nights for prepping) to sell kimchi at our booth – a big ask for any twenty-something!
For Matt, Choi’s Kimchi wasn’t just a job, it was his passion, family, culture all in one and he thrived as the face and voice of our franchise. He never missed an opportunity to share his wisdom and advice to other local entrepreneurs and loved being a part of the thriving Portland foodie scene. We were so proud of him, and often times, at awe of how natural and effortless he made everything seem.
We’ll never forget his sweet demeanor, kind heart, sense of humor, generosity, good nature, and his genuine love for the local community. The outpouring of love and support from all of you is incredible. We cherish each story you share. Our hearts are broken. We never imagined this could happen to our Matthew, who had so much more to give. But, we do know this, without a doubt that Matt would want us to see his vision through. The Choi’s Kimchi family will get through this together. Please bear with us as we navigate the next steps forward. Our production facility is still operating and we are committed to continuing Matt’s legacy in each and every jar we pack.
Thank you for your support, prayers, thoughts – it’s what helps us get through each moment.
Choi’s Kimchi Co