For Houston Food Market’s two new owners, buying the fast food and retail business stemmed from pragmatism.
“We needed to find a good business. We need a job. We need to work,” said vice-president John Bae.
Bae and president Jay Shin officially took over the business March 1 from Bob Wheaton, driving two days from Vancouver before reaching town.
Bae leaves his family behind in Vancouver. He has a Grade 11 daughter who will attend university in a few years.
“I have to feed them, make a living, I need to educate them, so I need money,” he said. “That’s why I have to leave the family and come, myself, to work here.”
Luckily for Shin, his two daughters are all grown up.
The two business partners were alumni of the same high school in Korea.
Coincidentally, both of them met again in Vancouver when they moved there around two decades ago.
Both of them used to have retail businesses, but sold them, and decided to partner up after finding this opportunity in Houston.
Bae said he really liked how this business encompassed a Mr. Sub franchise and a retail store.
He took the leap of faith and came up to see the store in his own eyes, and liked what he saw.
Bae currently has no future plans for the Food Market, saying that he needs to get a hang of things first.
“We have to settle down first, and we’ll look for something good for the people in town,” he said, saying that he would like to involve the business with the community.
He fervently rejected the idea of serving Korean fare in his business, stating that he already has troubles cooking for himself, let alone others.
Bae hopes that when the business settles down, he could travel to visit his family in Vancouver.
“But we cannot say right now, how long it’s going to take to settle down here. We need to know about the business first,” he said.