Clara Lee, co-owner of Queens Korean Superette, poses in front the kitchen in the back of the store on after the grand opening. (CELINE WUU/ Golden Gate Xpress)
Queens, a local Korean superette carrying traditional Korean products and freshly-prepared ready-to-eat food, opened its doors Aug 27.
Owners Clara Lee and Eddo Kim partnered up to make this grocery-deli combo, just a short walk away from Golden Gate Park.
Wooden shelves are stocked with homemade kimchi, teas and spices. At the front of the store is a display fridge filled with banchan. These traditional Korean side dishes are made by Lee, who manages the kitchen in the back of the superette.
Lee grew up in New York and learned how to make traditional Korean dishes through spending time with her mother.
“I put together all the ingredients of what your mom would do,” Lee said. “It’s simple and feels comfortable.”
Queens is a tribute to the matriarchal figures in preserving culture, not just through food, but also identity according to Lee.
Lee said her and Kim first started Queens as a Korean Deli doing solely online delivery. The store eventually morphed into a pop-up until settling into its new location in the Inner Sunset.
“It’s great to have a lot of people from the neighborhood come in and be interested about our concept,” Kim said.
Lee’s said she hopes the store will build a supportive ecosystem for Korean culture and wants to make it a space to introduce food and culture to the Bay Area and beyond.