CEO | MEALTOP
If you’ve ever traveled somewhere and have felt so inspired by the place, culture and cuisine, then you’ll relate to Joon Baek’s story. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Joon grew up having an affinity for travel, and was always inspired by the United States, specifically California. While studying abroad and living in Los Angeles he noticed there was an abundance of Korean cuisine and culture, but there was still so much room for growth for in the Korean market; and so, Joon made it his mission and a life goal to spread Korean culture through food and clothing. The word 의식주 (oo-ee sik joo) in Korean literally translates to clothing, food and home. From that concept, Joon aspired to bring it wherever he went, and when the opportunity arose to open Mealtop in the city he feels most inspired by, he took the opportunity and ran with it full on 의식주 (oo-ee sik joo).
If you’re unfamiliar, Mealtop is a bingsoo (Korean shaved ice) dessert house with locations all across Korea and Dubai. Mealtop started in 1985 in Korea and has coined the nickname The Luxury Bingsoo - Korean Shaved Ice - using only carefully selected ingredients from domestic areas to keep the taste and the traditional art of bingsoo alive. With the expansion of cafes all across Korea, Dubai and now Orange County and Los Angeles, Joon and his team are ecstatic to share Mealtop’s authenticity in the states!
Joon is excited and inspired to share his authentic Korean culture while implementing the laid back culture of Orange County and Los Angeles. He’s reflected that it’s important to stay authentic to Korean culture but to continue the ebb and flow of what it takes to be successful in Southern California culture. Mealtop’s recipes will reflect the two and blend together to bring the ultimate bingsoo experience to his consumers.
Joon is really humbled and excited to bring Mealtop to Southern California; the area has inspired him for so long, and looks forward to offering a piece of South Korean culture to this new community through traditional Korean desserts and bingsoo.