Local woman’s kimchi business takes off, finds customers across the map

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore.– A local woman’s kimchi is starting to take off.

It’s now being sold in grocery stores around the state.

Cindy Yi moved to Oregon over 30 years ago and she brought her mom’s radish kimchi with her.

She originally just gave it out to her friends, but it quickly became much bigger.

Yi said, “it’s the love that makes it taste good.”

She originally started at local farmers markets, but her kimchi was so popular she began partnering with grocery stores.

Yi said, “some people grab and take a sample because we put them out on chips, and they don’t even stop they just grab and go and then they come back and say ‘oh this is really good’ and then they come and buy a jar.”

Yi has partnered with Market of Choice, Sherm’s Food 4 Less and a number of other stores across the state.

She now sells her kimchi online as well and she has customers from all over the map.

Yi said, “we ship to Florida, we actually had a soldier in Afghanistan, he ordered like two cases and then he gave it out to the guys. We also have customers in Hawaii and regular customers in Idaho and California.”

Her kimchi also caught the attention of the organizers of the Brine, Brew and Barrel Festival.

Organizer Karolina Lavagnino said, “my favorite kimchi by far, I hope I’m not biased here but she’s fantastic. Her product is amazing and she will be talking about how to introduce kimchi into your kitchen.”

The festival runs this Friday through Sunday at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites

Yi will be doing a demonstration on how to incorporate kimchi into your diet at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Lavagnino said, “we have vendors that range from hot sauce producers to miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, beer, chocolate, wine.”

The festival will include presenters from all across the country as well as right here in the rogue valley.

For tickets and the full schedule for the festival, you can find a link here.

NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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