The Kimchi Dude: A New Sustainable Eatery & Vision for NEPA

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Interested in plant based health food? Then make sure to check out The Kimchi Dude at the NEPA Green Fair! The Kimchi Dude serves vegan, raw, and plant based food that is not only affordable and healthy, but delicious. They are most famous for their kimchi that has perfected over the years, but you can also find juices, salads, desserts, and much more. Be sure to check out their new shop, opening up later this spring in downtown Scranton.

Read our interview below with The Kimchi Dude to find out more about their business, their new eatery, and their vision for their business and for NEPA.  

Can you tell us about the Kimchi Dude and how it got started?

In the summer of 2013, I tipped the scales at 380 lbs, my feet were turning black, and I had little hope of ever achieving well being. Like an angel, my father’s cousin entered my life with teachings of energy, mindfulness, and Raw Food. As I  listened to him speak, my intuition knew there was substance to his claims. I immediately began diving into research and my first company, “Rainbow Juice” was born after dropping 160lbs with diet changes and basic increases in physical activity. As research deepened and my inner samurai began to awaken there was an urge to experiment with Kimchi. Having heard of its incredible healing properties and naturally sustainable nature, I was instantly hooked. Plans began for a total branding makeover to be followed by a Kitchen in Downtown Scranton with an emphasis on Sustainability.

What caused you to to start caring about the health and environmental impact of food?

After serving my Grandmother, who was at the time in critical care for cancer, a fresh made juice, and watching the life force rush back in her face, I knew there was something extraordinary about the meals I was serving. Some of her last words expressed the importance of bringing my medicine to the masses. I intend to do just that.

Do you have any favorite documentaries?

The first ones that got my head spinning were “Super Size Me” and “Earthlings”. The final inspiration needed to commit myself to sustainability was “Before The Flood” a film by Leonardo DiCaprio.

How has your business evolved over the years?

I’ve never had a home. Sometimes I offer in home kitchen makeovers, sometimes I serve prepared meals at festivals, sometimes I offer online educational lessons, and more recently, I have been offering home delivery of prepared meals. I am most excited about recently signing a lease for a storefront in Downtown Scranton. The first weekend of June is the anticipated Grand Opening! Be sure to follow The Kimchi Dude on FB/IG @TheKimchiDude for more details as they become available.

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What has been the most rewarding part about the Kimchi Dude?

To be in a position to help people achieve a new level of well being is rewarding beyond words. Countless individuals have successfully separated themselves from their medications thanks to the healing power of Raw Living Food!

What has been the most challenging?

The most challenging element has been dealing with local and state health departments. Their regulations make it difficult to create progress. It has pushed me to be creative with my marketing strategies and supply chain.

Can you tell us more about your new vegan eatery that will be opening soon? What are some sustainable practices your business will feature?

Raw Vegan food already has a significantly reduced carbon footprint over your average burger bar. We’re talking at least a 1:5 ratio and probably much more. On top of that, I will not be supplying straws, napkins, or plastic utensils. I will not source ingredients with excessive packaging. All of my products will be served in REUSABLE packaging. Native Fruit trees of our zone will be grown and distributed. I will compost 100% of my food scraps. I will reuse 100% of the cardboard from produce orders. Perhaps not from day 1, but there are plans to source 100% of my electric from solar and even consider offering a menu that utilizes only manual energy. A 5 year goal to build a 100+ acre farm is in the works through “Save a Rainbow”. A non-profit group dedicated to educating the masses on how to sustainably grow organic produce in their communities. More on this later…

What are your top 3 environmental issues ?

Deforestation due to Animal Agriculture, Plastic Cups populating every inch of the planet, and empty oceans due to fishing (sustainable fishing is not real).

What is your vision for NEPA?

Having now traveled to countless cities by participating with the couch-surfing platform, it is easy to see that our region is at least 15 years behind any major city in terms of sustainability. I hope to raise our general acceptance of what high quality culinary means, and make it the norm to replace grass with an edible landscape. This includes front yards. I envision food growing EVERYWHERE, and I will not accept any excuse for why we can’t do that.

Anything additional you’d like to add?

Our food choices are important, yes, but equally important is our ability to go through life consuming less. I always advise to purchase second hand when possible, and when you’re  making a new purchase, research and make sure you are purchasing a quality product. Ask yourself, “will this purchase give me the ability to better serve the planet?” If it is hard to answer, you probably don’t need the item.

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