our roots

Hi I'm SuIn, founder of forward ROOTS, a woman owned & operated company.  I have been around food all my life.  Being the eldest in the family, I worked alongside my mom in the kitchen from an early age.  Looking back, these were special times, sometimes the only opportunities to spend time with her.  A quiet woman in public but in private, she was feisty, an amazing story-teller & historian with a generous spirit.  

This tiny woman ran a business 7 days a week and raised four kids.  Always busy, she found cooking burdensome but delighted in all things fermented.   Mom was always awed by the transformations and took pride in the results.  She made her own gochujang (red chili paste), dwengjang/doenjang (soybean paste), jeotkal (fish sauce) and jang (soy sauce).  We rarely ate out and avoided processed foods.  Everything was homemade because she believed it was cleaner and healthier.  My mother, my teacher and my kimchi supplier, passed away several years ago. She never said the words, “I love you.” but expressed it through her care packages.

The fermented kimchi sauce is the connection to my mother and the flavors that formed my palate. And, as she passed her knowledge to me, I wish to pass along to my daughter, my nieces and nephews, who were born and raised in North America.  It is my wish that they never forget their heritage; with each subsequent generation, we move further away from our traditional knowledge and connections to the place of our origin.  I am hoping to close some of that gap through our foods, our ROOTS.

Food is our common humanity.  Feeding each other is a way to learn & know each other, it opens the door to welcome others in.  I want to share my roots, plus the influences of the people and cultures I’ve been fortunate to exchange with along the way.  Their impact is the FORWARD from my roots.   So what you’ll see are traditional foods I grew up eating, as well as dishes that combine flavors of my sisters & brothers from other cultures both here and afar.