“We had a big event in my family. My daughter had a baby in Level 3 lockdown. We weren’t able to visit her in hospital initially, but I’m a Grandad now. Grandad Chan!
I’m from South Korea originally, but I’ve been in New Zealand for twenty years now. I didn’t know anyone before I came here. I’d been working in the meat industry when I lived in South Korea and I wanted to learn more about it so I studied butchery at MIT. I ended up in a totally different career and opened this café, Katch, ten years ago.
I’ve made some really good friends locally. I talk to them about my culture and they tell me about their culture so I have a chance to understand their way of thinking. This isn’t something you do when you live in your own country. I knew many people who went back home again. They sat on the fence and never decided which way to go. I decided 20 years ago when I arrived that this would be my country now. My motto is ‘Give it 100% or do something else!’
I love the people of Howick. They’re very gentle and straightforward. They mean what they say. They’re friendly – especially the elderly people. Very helpful and very supportive.
We sell a mixture of Korean food and Western food in our cafe. Our Korean dishes are becoming more popular. We also do very good coffees! I offer one free coffee after every eight. Yesterday I had a customer owed a free coffee and he said, “No, I’ll pay, because I want to support local business – because if you don’t support local business you’ll lose it – and lose your good coffee!” That’s the mentality of the local people of Howick. I think Howick is the best place to live!”