As an anti-racist company, Red Tricycle and Tinybeans stand against the systemic racism towards Asian Americans, as well as all people of color. We strive to support our neighbors, friends, co-workers, and fellow humans in the fight for justice, and one way to do that is to support independent local businesses. To that end, we’re highlighting Asian American businesses in NYC that have tons of fun stuff for kids and families. (Many owners are parents themselves!) Step out and show support now and always!
Nguyen Coffee Supply
At Nguyen Coffee Supply, it’s all about the experience of brewing a cup of coffee. This, the first specialty Vietnamese coffee company in the U.S., opened its doors in Fall 2018 and prides itself on importing and roasting single-origin Vietnamese coffee beans. “The most important thing I want New Yorkers to know about small business owners is that everyone is risking their health in some way to continue operating, to keep paychecks flowing for their team and to keep dreams alive,” says Sahra Nguyen, co-owner. “Support small businesses, especially immigrant owned mom-and-pop shops that may not be so social media savvy. We need diversity in businesses, experiences and culture so that our city remains the dynamic place we love.”
Lo & Sons
For the past decade, the Lo family (Jan, Derek and their mom Helen) has been designing stylish travel bags from their Dumbo studio and, during the pandemic, pivoted to helping healthcare workers by donating almost 4,000 bags to those on the frontlines. These timeless, thoughtfully designed bags are created with eco-friendly materials and plenty of organizational features and pockets to keep your trip as streamlined and seamless as possible.
“As an Asian American owned business based in the diverse city of NYC, we recognize the importance of supporting and uplifting one another during the turbulent times we continue to face in our communities,” Helen Lo says.
Korean K9 Rescue
At Korean K9 Rescue in Astoria, the mission is all about building awareness and compassion for dogs, especially those that are rescued from dog meat farms, high kill shelters and puppy mills both here and abroad—something Gina Bohler, executive director and founder has been working on since July 2017 when the organization started up. These days, New Yorkers in all five boroughs—and around the Tristate area—are happy adopters.
“We are so thankful to the NYC community for embracing our rescue organization and giving these homeless and mistreated dogs a second chance here,” she says. “We also have a Patreon page where you can get a sneak peek inside our facility in Bundang, South Korea, while supporting our rescue efforts monthly for just a few dollars.”
When Lin Chen, a second-generation Asian American, launched Pink Moon, an online beauty site in mid-2020, her focus was on curating exclusively female founded, sustainable self-care, well-being and lifestyle brands. “Practicing self-care/love has positively changed my life and this is why I want to offer other women the opportunity to experience this, too,” she says. These days Chen runs her business from her office in Midtown East. She hopes to open a flagship well-care and community site for women through every phase of life on the Upper West Side this fall.
Rooted may have started out of Ryan Lee and Kay Kim’s apartment in Williamsburg in 2018, but it’s soaring now with a greenhouse in Florida, a Brooklyn team and a commitment to doing everything through a lens of sustainability. “We’re adamant about doing things as green as possible, even if it’s much harder for the sake of our environment,” Kim says. Since they opened the business, the duo has opened retail stores in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and most recently, Chinatown, currently closed due to the pandemic.
“We’re a proud Asian American-owned business comprised nearly fully of POC so even if you’re not in the market to purchase plants right now, please be proactive about becoming patrons of other AAPI-owned businesses, especially during these difficult times,” Kim says.
Jimmy Ly, co-owner of Madame Vo, a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village that opened in 2017, began dreaming up his vision when he met ‘Madame’ Yen Vo and the two connected over their mutual love of Vietnamese food. A Queens native, Ly had grown up as his family’s designated sous chef for family gatherings, and later worked in his parent’s banh mi shop. Vo grew spent her youth eating traditional Vietnamese food in her native Houston. When Ly introduced Yen to his family’s cooking, the inspiration for Madame Vo was born—and, since then, the couple became the proud parents of two boys.
“Vietnamese food is more than just the national cuisine of Vietnam—it is a way of life and an integral part of the culture,” Ly says. “At Madame Vo, we strive to honor the tradition of Vietnamese food by providing New Yorkers with the familiar and nostalgic flavors of southern Vietnamese cooking. Whether you're ordering a savory Com Suon Nuong or a delicious bowl of The Madame Pho, you can rest assured that your meal has been made with the utmost care and best ingredients, following recipes which have been passed down through generations of the Ly and Vo families. To continue to support us, stop by our East Village restaurant for indoor and outdoor dining, or order ahead to take an authentic Vietnamese meal to go to share with friends and family.”
212 E. 10th St.
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Heart of Dinner
Pick up a new tote to support the non-profit Heart of Dinner, an organization founded at the onset Covid-19 to fight food insecurity and isolation experienced by Asian American seniors—two long-standing community issues heightened by the pandemic.
The all-volunteer non-profit now serves more than 1,500 elders in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, delivering weekly hot lunches, fresh produce, and bulk ingredients—with a hand-written and illustrated note in Korean or Chinese. Doing more good, Heart of Dinner works with local providers to support small businesses in the COVID-related recovery process.
In 2019, Ryan Kim opened Kim’C Market, an e-commerce business based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard with the express goal of helping people stay healthy by providing healthy Korean foods and ingredients. “I was inspired to start Kim’C Market after my uncle passed away from cancer in 2018,” Kim says. “Having grown up without a father, I felt the need to be able to guide my late uncle’s children and ensure that the whole family would be able to have access to clean, healthy foods.”
“Whether you’ve been cooking with Korean ingredients your whole life or would like to dip your toes into the world of Korean cooking, our mission is to connect people with tasty, wholesome Korean and Asian ingredients and ship or deliver them fast to you. Food has an innate transformative power, from the nutrients inside it to the people who make it and the cultures which influence it, and it is our goal to make these clean ingredients accessible to all kitchens. To see how our products can be used not only in Korean cooking but your own cuisines, check out our cooking videos on YouTube.com.”
This family-owned and operated kids’ clothing line is known for its modern and thoughtfully crafted designs. Inspired by their own kids, the owners have over 18 years of experience in the fashion industry; they’re passionate about creating lasting, neutral unisex pieces that can be handed down again and again.
Founder Alex Zagami Ng comes from a long line of business owners. When she opened her shop in Little Italy, it quickly became a favorite for NYC locals and visitors alike. Ng curated a wonderful selection of toys, clothing and books, as well as designing her own line. While she was forced to close her brick-and-mortar location due to COVID, her resilience and determination, not to mention her loyal customers, helped Ng pivot her business angle. Now you’ll find Piccoliny gear online, or if you live in NYC, from these select retailers as well as Saks Fith Avenue in midtown Manhattan.
Little Moony is a designer daughter and master tailor mother team. The idea to launch a children’s clothing line was born out of an afternoon watching their niece/granddaughter play in a cute but comfortable dress (which mom had made!). From there, Little Moony has become known for comfortable, well-designed clothes that range from bright and colorful to calm and cool. There’s a brick-and-mortar store in the SOHO neighborhood of NYC, but you can purchase everything from onesies to dress and jogger pants from the website too.
230 Mulberry St.
Good Day Play Cafe
Good Day Play Cafe delivers on its name: it's a play space for little kids to have fun, with a spot for parents to relax, maybe return some emails and have a beverage or bite to eat. (They have kid-friendly snacks too, of course.) Covid-19 shut things down for a bit, but they're back up and running at their Park Slope location for open play, private play dates and parties (with lots of health precautions, of course).
"We are so so thankful to our community and all the families for showing us endless support. We wouldn’t be here without them," says Jessica Chang, who owns the business with her husband. "We hope that everyone that steps foot into our space, feels welcomed and safe- no matter who they are or what they look like. Being parents, ourselves, we know that when it comes to children, things need to be flexible. We try out best to create a space for our parents to feel relaxed and happy when they come to GDPC—which in turn will be relayed to the children."
591 Fifth Ave.
Hudson and Bleeker
Founder and CEO Eram Siddiqui launched Hudson and Bleecker when she couldn’t find stylish travel accessories. What started as a single shoe bag has expanded into a line of multi-functional, well-crafted travel accessories. Take a peek at the website, and you’ll find garment bags, cosmetic bags, packing cubes and more.