Oh, how one year can totally change your life.
This time last year, I was in the final stages of leaving a company I had labored over for seven years, a company that I had started in my New York City apartment. Saying goodbye to something you created and put your whole heart into is tough, and when I decided to leave, I had no idea what I would do next.
I was actually blessed with a non-compete clause that precluded me from working in chocolate for the better part of a year. Now, I could have sat around eating chocolate instead, or I could go do something productive. I chose to be productive (Big shock, I know, for those of you who know me!) The second week of December 2015, I made a snap decision to go back to school at the International Culinary Center. It was a big change! A lot of people I worked with in the consumer packaged goods space thought I was nuts. Why would I go and do something crazy like that? But for seven years, I had been plagued by the knowledge that I was primarily a self-taught chocolatier. I knew that if I was going to stay working with food, I better be able to do more then watch a YouTube video to recreate a recipe or simply get lucky.
Not going to lie, those first few weeks of 2016 were rough. I was equally incredibly excited and totally depressed. Walking away from something you built is no easy feat, even with the best of distractions. Thankfully, I quickly found my stride and excelled in pastry school. As the days turned to weeks, and weeks to months, it became clear that I had made the right choice. I was happy, in a way that I hadn't been for a long time. I was growing as a chef, a business person, and as a human being.
So, how did Ggachi come about so quickly?
When I left NibMor, a big part of me wanted to create more beyond chocolate. And I wanted to jump right in. I'm not a “sit down and wait” gal. I'm a “take the plunge and figure it out as you go” gal! So, I went for it and the concept slowly evolved over the last six months.
At Ggachi, everything is always non-GMO and organic whenever possible. I recreate classic desserts, pastry, chocolate, cakes, and confections because, as I'm known to say, dessert isn't going anywhere. People will always have a sweet tooth. For me, it's how we indulge that sweet tooth that is important. I, and Ggachi, are focused on the concept of indulging mindfully. We're not committed to any dietary program, but have options for everyone from vegan to paleo to francophiles.
Why is the Bakery named Ggachi? It originates with a fellow chef I attended pastry school with, Sun Young Park, who’s never met a cake she couldn't make beautiful! When I was trying to name the business, I wanted to name it “Magpie”, after my daughter Magdalena. Well, turns out the universe is filled with pastry shops and brands with that name. One afternoon, Sun Young and I were sitting in my NYC office and I had a picture of a magpie bird on the screen of my computer. Sunny (my nickname for Sun Young) looked at the screen and said, 'Oh! That's a Ggachi! We have those all over Korea, they are for good luck and prosperity.’ Well, so, there ya go!
I can’t wait to bringing you and your family amazing new and reimagined treats throughout the coming year, as well as communicating with you about our brand, the lifestyle, entrepreneurial happenings, and other companies we are excited to partner with. The Goods is all about that, bringing you the good things in life: pastry, passion, and people. Thanks for all the love and support, and all the best to you and your family in 2017.