From a forgotten caravan to an abundantly busy food truck, from an empty car park to a pop-up lunch shop, entrepreneur Courtney Kim is set to open another restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD - only this time, permanently. Bibimbap’s food selection will stay true to Kim’s long held belief that fast food should be convenient and healthy (and all tossed together with a Korean flair!) The menu will largely consist of nutrition rich Bibimbap alongside whole food entrees, desserts, and Gimbap served with homemade Spiced Ham (SPAM!) - inspired by Kim’s recent culinary trip to South Korea.
Graphic designer turned foodie Courtney Kim, who started Bibimbap from a $1000 crowdfunding campaign investment, has been building the venture from the ground up over the past two years. With a 10 year entrepreneurial background running her own marketing and brand agency, starting a business wasn’t new for Ms. Kim (but setting up as a restaurateur definitely was!) Instead of turning away from the opportunity, Courtney relied on her business experience, mashed it up with her culinary passion, and found success at the intersection of her two worlds. In the same year she launched Bibimbap, it was named one of Melbourne’s Top 5 food trucks and nominated for the 2016 Best Eat Drink Design Award (with the branding created by Courtney herself.)
“Owning a food truck and building a restaurant is very different from the design world that I am used to. Food trucks can be incredibly seasonal and all types of hospitality involve physically demanding work. What keeps me going is the instant customer feedback and smile on their face.”
And her decision to move from a pop-up shop to brick-and-mortar cafe? “Crowdfunding helped me recognize that my food ideas could be successful projects. The food truck quickly grew a strong fanbase and we further tested the idea as pop up to see if we could attract the same attention from the lunchtime office crowd. It was this shop, which we parked in a previously empty lot on Punch Lane earlier last year, that gave me the confidence to pursue the idea through to opening a physical store”.
Bibimbap’s new home will be located at 21 Katherine Place (just off of Flinders Lane) in Melbourne’s CBD and is expected to serve lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday starting October 2017.