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Sun Choi

Yummy’s Korean BBQ |  President + Co-Founder | Orem | 38

Utah’s gotta eat — and Sun Choi, president and co-founder of Yummy’s Korean BBQ, is feeding the state, with locations from Provo to West Valley. Sun was raised in Hawai’i, where his mother perfected Hawaiian-style Korean BBQ as the family catered to tourists. After moving to Utah, Sun started helping in the family food business with catering to many Silicon Slopes companies and other parts of the community, and in 2018, the family listened to their fans and opened Yummy’s — an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and sushi extravaganza. But beyond food, Sun’s passion is woven into non-profit Connect to Korea — which teaches Korean language and customs, and even takes people on trips to experience the country up-close and personal. Sun has Seoul in his soul.

SHARPER SKILLS I learned to manage 50+ employees at a time and have also learned to make hard decisions that are necessary not only for the growth of the company, but for my own personal growth. CAREER DREAM Originally I wanted to be the largest Korean restaurant chain in America. But now, my dream has shifted to being someone known not only for the food, but for sharing the language and culture of Korea. CAUTIONARY TALES Starting our first restaurant, we had no clue what we were doing, but we were told to hire for so many different positions. We ended up having so much wasted labor and money as they were positions that were unnecessary and didn’t produce any revenue. Not all restaurants are the same. The advice we received didn’t apply to us. LIVING LEGACY Food, I feel, is becoming a dying art. I’ve learned from Mom how to prepare Korean food. I hope that as a Korean, our culture, food and tradition can continue to be passed down for generations. So that’s my legacy, to carry on my Mom and Dad’s legacy. My dad came to Hawai’i 40 years ago with $500 and he’s worked hard alongside my mom. He may not be successful to many people, but I respect him for what he’s been able to build and I’m lucky to continue to build off of what he started. GOOD BIZ ADVICE Be an example to your employees. Be humble and never forget where you came from. Keep thinking ahead. Don’t dwell on the past and don’t stay stuck in the present. Keep moving forward and plan ahead. Take time for yourself and take care of yourself.