Korean students at the Byron Bay Markets

Check out what some of our busy students are up to!

Hello, my name is Patrick. I tried opening my stall at Byron Market. I always enjoy cooking for my friends and often have Korean food party with my friends whom I met at Byron ELA.

I started to have an interest in Byron market since one of my friends said, “there is no Korean food in the market!” I thought, I could not open a Korean restaurant but can open food court in the Byron market. I immediately got quite excited about it and wanted to get started working on it, but I didn’t know how to start, where to contact, who to speak to…. Then I thought I have to talk to the staff members at GV Byron. They were extremely helpful and even though they were always busy, they went through all the documents and called the council for me, and within two days, I’ve got a permit for the market.

Together with three other Korean friends, we created menu, signs, and got ready for the market. It was such a fun experience. On the market day, it was rainy but after 10am, people started coming and got busier. People showed interest towards Korean food, which made us very happy. Our menu included, Kimchi pancakes, Purukogi rice, nobiani, and kinpa (Korean sushi.) Those who never had Korean food before said, “there is non-spicy Korean food!?” and showed great interest. Friends and teachers from school came by and our stall became quite busy.

This experience is so precious that I will never forget it. I would have given up at an early stage if the owners and the staff members of the school did not help me. Although our earning was little, I gained something that is so much more important through this experience.  I realized firsthand how difficult it is to sell something. However, this experience in Australia brought me a great confidence and it improved my English as well. I am now working at a kitchen of a coffeehouse, which was introduced by the school.  I am working with local people and it is a lot of fun working with them. Of course, there is still a language barrier, and sometimes I have to ask the customer what they ordered a few times, the rest of the staff help me enormously.  They have become very important friends to me.

I am planning on staying in Byron Bay for another half a year. I am very grateful that I live my life surrounded by such warm-hearted people here.