During the summer vacation, I decided to spend some time determining my major. The major that I had an interest in was food science because I had an interest in different nutritional values of foods. Therefore, I traveled to ‘Hadong,’ in Gyeongsangnam-do alone, to meet famous people who succeeded in the food industry.
The first industry I visited was a chestnut company. I pleaded with its president Kyungtae Choi to allow me to tour the production line and he graciously agreed. I think he found it very interesting, strange even, that a youth like me was interested in food science. Once inside the factory, I was able to see the whole process of food processing. I learned that food science processes had to observe strict precautions. The president told me that people who are engaged in the food industry must be committed to e delivering clean and healthy foods to the consumers since their health is on the line.
While in Hadong, I noticed another company that I was quite familiar with. It was a franchise brand named ‘11:45 a hungry time’ run by ‘Bokmansa’. I had first eaten their cheese sticks at a highway rest stop when I was traveling to my grandmother's house. I enjoyed the deep flavors of the cheese sticks and I was shocked by the idea of adding new ingredients to the cheese stick. 11:45 is famous for its distinctive cheese sticks which are huge (23cm) and have distinctive ingredients in them. 11:45 cheese sticks have a total of 10 different flavors, including spicy chicken, sweet potato, and bulgogi.
So, while I was in Hadong, I contacted the president of the company, Cho eun woo. He allowed me to work in his factory for a few days, and I worked there making cheese sticks and doing scrap works. My role in the factory was mainly peeling off the wraps for the cheese sticks. While I was removing the wraps for the cheese sticks, I could see that the cheese sticks were all handmade in four steps. First, the cheese were wrapped with additional ingredients such as spicy chicken or sweet potato. Second, the wrapped cheese and ingredients were coated with egg yolk to make the surface of the wraps sticky. Third, the coated wraps were rolled on bread crumbs stick to the wraps for a crunchy texture. Lastly, the final products went through quick freeze and were packaged for delivery.
|[Picture of me peeling off the wraps. the picture was taken by one of the workers]|
|[Picture showing the process of cheese sticks production.
the picture was taken by one of the workers]
After I worked in the factory for a day, luckily, I had an opportunity to talk with the president. I was astonished by his creativity for creating cheese sticks with additional ingredients, so I asked him where his inspiration came from. Surprisingly, the president said that even though source of inspiration is important, experience and trials are fundamental in producing successful product. The president said he had numerous experiences related to food production before becoming the CEO of a company. He founded four different food businesses before creating his current company, but they unfortunately failed. However, he said his failures taught him the necessary skills to be successful. From his various experiences, he came up with the idea that mass appeal and unique idea was needed to succeed, and his company fulfilled both of them. His company caught the mass media by making a product well known to the public, and he gave his cheese sticks originality by adding different ingredients. 11:45 now operates 12 shops in South Korea, and is expanding its business to Japan.
|[Picture of me with the president of the company; taken by one of the workers in the factory]|
By this experience, I learned that all his ideas mainly came from his experience and failures. Also, rather than trying to create something new, it seemed that finding inspiration from surrounding was leading to a better success. In his factory, I learned an important lesson that experience is important and failures could be the stepping stones for success.
Korea International School Jeju
Kim Dongki email@example.com
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