This is Yun Hai Taiwan Stories, a newsletter about Taiwanese food and culture by Lisa Cheng Smith 鄭衍莉, founder of Yun Hai. If you aren’t yet a subscriber, sign up here.
This month, I’m busy getting everything ready for our store opening in just three short weeks, so I’m keeping it short and sharing some behind-the-scenes images as a sneak peek for our subscribers.
To hold you over, please enjoy a last minute APAHM/Memorial Day Sale and take 10% off sitewide with code JINIAN10. The code expires end of Monday, May 30th. Stock up!
In case you missed it, our Brooklyn store opens in less than 3 weeks. Mark your calendars for June 18th, our first public shopping day.
A Taiwanese General Store
Opening a brick and mortar location has always been part of the Yun Hai plans. This business started as an in-person endeavor, first tabling at Passport to Taiwan in Union Square New York and then on to Hester Street Market and LIC Flea & Food. After the pandemic, we went exclusively online, which worked well, but we miss the direct dialogue and experimental environment a store context offers. Creating a sense of place, locality and a space to experience, discuss, and share Taiwanese food has been a priority since day on.
Thanks to our friends at Win Son, and a whole crew of friends and contacts sharing their time and skills, the store is a few steps away from becoming a reality. It will begin as a tasting room, showcasing our products and other Taiwan-focused selections. As we go, we’ll evolve and respond to what our public wants, but we hope to feature a wide range artisanal food and lifestyle goods from Taiwan; essentials for Taiwanese Chinese home cooking (and eating); locally grown, in season Asian produce and local meats; in house prepared foods; and a hand-picked selection of fine and fancy Asian food brands. We hope you’ll come visit and support us in our evolving vision!
Behind the Scenes
It’s also been a month full of senseless, sad, and preventable tragedies in many communities across the US, including the Taiwanese American one. Because carrying on with business and life is one way of coping with and combating fear and grief, we continue on. But please consider donating to The Victims Fund for SoCal Taiwanese Church Shooting, the Texas Elementary School Victims Fund, Buffalo Survivors Fund, and Every Town for Gun Safety.
In sadness and in hope,
Lisa Cheng Smith
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with friends and subscribe if you haven’t already. We email once a month, sometimes more. For more Taiwanese food, head to yunhai.shop, follow us on instagram and twitter, or view the newsletter archives.
Huge excitement for its grand opening today! Wish I were there during the soft open but I'm coming! Whoohoo!
Bonus for our community: TaiwanFest (formerly Passport to Taiwan) is tomorrow 11-6p at Millenium Brooklyn (formerly John Jay) HS in Sunset Park.
Congratulations on the storefront -- sounds exciting! I'll have to visit the next time I'm up in NYC, whenever that may be :)